Tag Archives: Choosing the right music

Gala Season

We are full swing in the Gala & fundraising season & we are always proud to be on hand, on stage. It’s a time the Band really enjoys, as we feel an integral part of raising money for so many wonderful causes. When guests come up & tell us, they’re returning because they saw we were performing again, we know we’ve made a difference & a real contribution.

At any time in history, the world can seem a terrible, frightening place & certainly there are lots of desperate problems today. However, it’s important to remember we often have the choice of supporting negative, aggressive efforts to force change or positive, affirming efforts with likeminded people, who join together to help as best we can.

How to maximize your Gala Potential

Post-Holiday wintertime in Chicago is the perfect time to hold your Gala Fundraiser.  You might think the weather is a negative factor, but as long as the facility you choose is accessible by major roads, there is only going to be a very slight chance that the weather could effect attendance.  On the contrary, most people are anxious to dress up, get out of the house & have some fun between January & May.

We just finished a tremendously successful event last week.  We have done it several years in a row & it’s always been good, but this year was the very best & our Client was ecstatic.  What was the difference?  They listened to our common advice for party planning:  1.  Keep the party area as contained as possible.  You may be in a venue with lots of distraction such as a museum, but make sure food & beverage is in the same room as the dancing.  2.  Make sure your dance floor is small & directly in front of your music.  People are uncomfortable with a large dance floor.  3.  Hold the largest, most desirable gifts, raffle or prizes to the very end.  This brings everyone together & builds excitement.  4.  As soon as your raffle/awards are over, make sure you’ve coordinated with the entertainment & hit it immediately!  Grab your guests & compel them to stay & party!  They will go home & mark their calendars for next year’s event.

This advise goes across the board for party planning.  Maximize your potential for making a night your guests will never forget.

Why do people want to come to your Fundraiser?

If you’ve been a part of organizing a Fundraiser, there are a few things that become apparent:  1.  It’s tremendously rewarding  2.  It’s a lot of hard work  3.  You need to create an event that people can’t resist attending.  These days, the competition for charitable donors has never been more fierce.  To involve yourself in the fundraising process, you have to passionately believe in the organization you’re raising money for & you have to communicate that imperative to donors.

Generally speaking, people are generous if they can be.  But, if you tap into that group of people who are in a position to give generously, they are on lots of charitable lists.  That means they get invited to a lot of fundraising events.   So, logically, they have to want to choose your event.  That is where Entertainment can play a significant role.

Last weekend we played a beautiful Hospital Ball.  We’ve been performing at this event for many years.  I lost count of the number of people that approached me & said “When we see your name on the invitation, we mark our calendar.  We know we’re going to have a fabulous night!”  The dollars spent in investing in great music are returned in attendance & those people attending are likely to donate.  They’re also likely to tell others about the party or bring others with them the following year.  It’s a pretty simple equation.

Why do people come to your Fundraiser?  It’s an annual event they just don’t want to miss.

Explaining the Science of Music

“Pop” Music.

The “Pop” is short for popular.  & that is further defined by your age group & sheer numbers.  So, what makes a song “popular”?  This is where the science comes in.

Music is a visceral part of the human condition.  From the moment a Neanderthal picked up a bone & began beating it rhythmically on a log, music became a form of communication that transcends all others.   When mass communication became possible via the radio, the people in charge of programing began to supply music & performing artists to a huge audience.  The folks at home, sitting in front of their radios, listened to those lucky enough to get on the radio & it made those performers rich & famous.  Stars were born.

Like the smell of cookies instantly transports you to childhood, music is inexorably linked with emotional aspects in our lives.  For a long time, the war years defined the music of the moment.  World War II, the Korean War & the War in Vietnam all had their own musical messages of comradeship, fear, loss, support or anger.  It stirred up memories & experiences of turbulent times.

Most everyone develops their musical taste growing up.   Usually, youngsters begin going to dances at school when they become adolescents.  Talk about turbulent times!  Love, hate, fitting in, being different, no one understanding you:  these are all the elements of songs that speak to young people.  “He/She knows me!  They know how I feel!”  is a common reason you follow a particular song writer.

You grow older & start dating.  The songs become more important as the backdrop to social interactions.  You meet the right person, you fall in love, you get married, all to the songs being played in the clubs, at the parties you go to, the concerts you attend, on the radio or television.  You start a family.  For most people, your musical taste has been formed.  Other more pressing things consume your time & energy.  But hearing “the old songs” transports you back to a time when you danced, laughed, loved or cried.  To when you were young.

This is what music is all about.  It joins us together, regardless of geography, culture, religion or race.  It can incite, anger, inspire, sadden but at it’s best, bring joy.  Music endures as the canvas of our past, present & future to be shared by all.  Even the cold logic of Science has to love that.