Tag Archives: Gala

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.

Making A Wish come true.

We are getting ready to perform once again for Make A Wish, the organization that selects critically ill children & grants their wish.  We have been entertaining over the years, with such Guest Stars as Jay Leno, Martin Short, Dana Carvey & David Spade, to name a few.  Each year, the organization features a personal story of one of their Recipients & the way their lives, along with their families, were impacted by this wonderful Foundation.  One child wanted to visit the set of “The Office”.  The star of this series, Steve Carell & his wife, took personal care of the special guest & went on to donate to Make A Wish.  Not a dry eye in the house.

Another young boy wanted to skate with The Blackhawks Hockey Team.  Not only were he & his brothers lavishly welcomed & hosted, but Jonathan Toews, the Captain of the team, recorded a special video for him, to be played at the Gala.  It was tremendous.

We are kind of the icing on the cake at the end of the evening, with our rich variety of great dance music & traditionally, this is a Party Crowd.  The Band looks forward to it each year.  It’s important to remember, as we watch the news & contemplate all the bad things that are taking place, domestically & abroad, that there are people who dedicate themselves to doing purely good works & providing joy for afflicted children.

Dan & Jay2015 Fuji Camera 049

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.

Working with the great Jay Leno!

Dan & JayWe are looking forward to performing again for Make-A-Wish Foundation on May 16th & this year, with Jay Leno!  He is truly a delight, both on stage & off.  He is definitely one of my favorite Celebrities with which to work.  The biggest problem we had with him, was his propensity to leap out of the ground transportation we provided & go into crowds of people!  The first time we had him booked, we engaged our usually security, even though Jay didn’t require it (very unusual).  We generally use off-duty Chicago Policemen for this job, in this case, Matt.  He & a Driver picked Jay up at the airport & they were on their way to the hotel, when Jay asked about stopping at a good Italian Beef stand.  Matt happened to be an expert on this subject.  He instructed the driver & when they arrived, expected to go in & get the sandwiches, while the “Star” stayed in the limo behind tinted windows.  Jay was hosting the Tonight Show at the time & probably one of the most recognizable people in America.  To Matt’s shock, the “Star” leapt out of the limo & went into the crowded street & caused a sensation!  He laughed & joked with people, posing for pictures, shaking hands.  Matt went on to act as “security” for Jay many times after that, always prepared for something spontaneous & hilarious.  Our clients always loved him & so did we!  It’s not surprising that such a generous celebrity would donate his time for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Looking at the 2014 Holiday Season…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   This Holiday Season has been a busy one for us, with beautiful Parties at the Museum of Science & Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, the Fairmont Hotel, The Drake Hotel & many other Chicago iconic locations.  It makes us so thankful to be members of the Chicago Live Music Scene & to be an integral part of celebrating with many Companies, Corporations & Foundations.

When you have a large gathering of people, especially International Companies or Medical Organizations, you’re going to have rich cultural diversity.  It’s certainly difficult, if not impossible to satisfy everyone’s taste.  However, that is the beauty of music.  It is the great equalizer, knowing no boundaries or barriers.  It’s something that can be enjoyed by everyone, when performed with taste & entertainment value.  We’re so proud that it is for this, that we are best known.  We’re so proud of the all the performances we have done for our Clients in 2014 & look forward to 2015.

We wish you all the best for a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

 

 

 

 

The View from the Stage.

Last Saturday night, we performed on Soldier Field.  Yes, ON the field, not in the Stadium Club, as we usually do.  Our music was for the Make A Wish Foundation wish.org, as we have had the privilege of doing, for many years now.  They had a huge tent set up, fabulous lighting, sports style snacks & our Band to entice their guests to finish out the night dancing, after being treated to Comedian Seth Meyers.  Over the years, they’ve had a star-studded line up, helping to raise money for this wonderful organization.

I stood on the field, looking up at the empty seating surrounding me & thought about dreams.  How many football players stood where I was, realizing their own dreams come true.  They were there, doing what they did best & being recognized for it, being paid to do it.  Then, I thought of all the children who would benefit from the money generated from Make A Wish & have a special dream come true.

It’s a unique perspective, standing on the field, looking up.  Most of us have attended a professional game & watched many on television.  The stadium looks so huge from your seat in the last section or the easy chair of your living room.    Yet, from the field, it’s surprisingly small, somehow attainable. 

In our professional career, we’ve performed on the stages of the Chicago Theater, The Allstate Arena, the Opera House, Symphony Hall, the Erie Crown Theater, the House of Blues, the United Center, Navy Pier, the Celebrate State Street stage, Taste of Chicago & all the major museums in the city.  It never fails to fill me with pride, to stand on these stages & look up, knowing that we are doing what we do best & being honored for the incredible talent that makes up our Band. 

& there’s no doubt my dream has come true.

 

Even the bad weather doesn’t deter guests for the Mayoral Ball! They knew it was worth fighting the elements for a Great Party!

We’ve been doing this Mayoral Ball for many years now.  No one knows what Mother Nature is going to throw at you, but that’s especially true in Chicago in March!  However, this past weekend, She challenged people with cold, blowing snow early in the evening.  I wouldn’t have blamed people for staying home.  Yet, we had a great turnout for this annual Gala.  According to so many people we spoke to, they braved the weather, because they’d had so much fun in the past events that we have performed.  They knew we were coming back, so they put on their hats, boots & coats & partied!  It was not only complimentary, but insightful.  This is a concept we try & enlighten potential clients about:  what makes your event “A Must” on people’s social schedules?  a Great Party Band.

We have performed at hundreds of Galas & Fundraisers over our long & colorful history.  The competition for people’s time & dollars, in the case of Fundraisers, has never been more intense.  What we try to accomplish, is a tradition of a Great Time at the events at which we perform.  We want your guests to stay until the end of the evening, leave with sore feet & declare “We have to go to this party again next year!”.  It is a win/win situation.  Whatever your goals are for the event that you’ve invested your money, time & imagination in, we all want the same thing:  A Great Party.  That Great Party begins on the stage & infuses your guests with tremendous & infectious enthusiasm.  That perfectly describes our Band.   We dare you not to enjoy yourself.