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Brown Bag concerts return to West Monroe

The first concert will be held Wednesday September 6th and continue each Wednesday at noon for all 4 Wednesdays in September! September 6th will feature the Face Melters, September 13th will feature Bill Haley, September 20th will feature Vada Powell, and the final concert on September 27th will feature Ian Smith.

Brown Bag Lunch Concerts are held every Wednesday in September from noon to 1 p.m. at the Pavilion at Seventh Square in West Monroe, located directly behind the West Monroe Farmer’s Market.

The West Monroe Brown Bag Lunch Concert Series is presented by WMWO Chamber of Commerce and the City of West Monroe in partnership with Emily Nunnelee State Farm, Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union, Paramount Healthcare Consultants, The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, Newk’s Eatery, 90.3 KEDM, and the Ouachita Parish School System. Artists coordinated by Music City Studios – Northeast Louisiana’s Premier Recording Studio.

The concerts are free to the general public. Newk's Eatery will be selling bagged lunches on site which include a half sandwich, bag of chips and half dessert. Lunches are sold on a first come, first served basis. Attendees may also bring a brown bag lunch while they enjoy various musical performances. Chairs and complimentary beverages and desserts will be provided by the sponsors. The Brown Bag Lunch Concert Series will continue in West Monroe with a spring series on Wednesdays in May.

About the Artists:

the Face Melters:

Facemelters is the top performing ensemble of Fort Sumner Young Artist Development Program. Band members rotate through instruments and vocal responsibilities to learn and strengthen their musical skills through critical performances. Dan Sumner directs the ensemble made up of: Ella Grace Britton, Vince Butitta, Noah Pipes, Robbie Winterman, Lennon Jones, Caden Fontana, Cas Fontana, Elias Cross and Aubrey Hendricks. Formed in 2022, Facemelters have developed an entertaining and musically challenging set of classic songs and are developing original songs. They have put on several successful performances and have been nominated as Best Emerging Artists in the NELA Music Awards 2023.

Bill Haley:

Bill Haley was born in Archibald, LA, grew up in Monroe. Graduated from Ouachita Parish High School and Northeast Louisiana University. I have no credentials as far as singing in Branson, MO, or Nashville, TN or other places. I was offered a recording contract in the early 1970's, but did not pursue the offer. I was a member of the Ouachita PHS concert choir and smaller ensemble for three years and the concert choir and smaller ensemble at Northeast LU

for four years. Two fantastic choral directors helped me develop the skill and talent that God gave me, and am very blessed that the voice has remained fairly strong for all these years. I have been a music director at churches for some fifty years, entertained and have emceed for beauty pageants, banquets, parties and class reunions. Currently music director at Clark Springs Baptist Church. I sing all styles of music , from pop to country, except opera and blue-grass, simply because I can't sing those two styles. I am really excited and looking forward to entertaining you at the Brown Bag Concert. My prayer is that you leave with a smile on your face and joy in your heart.

Vada Powell:

Vada Powell is a 17 year old singer/songwriter from Sterlington, LA. Her folk/pop songs are played on ukelele and guitar. She began writing at the age of 11 and hasn’t stopped since. She believes that songwriting is the best way to express yourself and be able to put all that you feel into beautiful words for others to hear.

Ian Smith aka Ian Keys

Beginning at the age of 5, Ian developed a passion for singing and worked for years at it through trial and error, choir, and as a church vocalist. Ian decided piano was his instrument due to listening to Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Billy Joel, and Elton John, and he just loves how they could speak from their instruments as well as having great singing voices. Ian has been performing regularly since 2005, in a church worship band setting. He formed one band in 2012 as lead vocalist which was short-lived due to life changes in the group. He played keyboard and was a backup vocalist in another band from 2018-2022 when he decided to go solo while working full-time in the medical field. Music is his way of communicating how he feels when he cannot put the words together.

For more information about the concert series, please call the WMWO Chamber of Commerce at (318) 325-1961 or online at

Originally from Monroe, Cory has worked in a variety of media. He has worked in television news and spent seven years as a TV sports play-by-play announcer. He was also creative director for a television advertising department and worked extensively as a photojournalist. Cory has lived in both Dallas and New Orleans.