Tag Archives: Professional

What to do, see & listen to, during the Holidays!

No matter where you live in the United States, there is a holiday to celebrate in the next few weeks.  This is a time when friends, family & colleagues take a moment to gather & enjoy whatever relationship they share.  Most of the time, this includes a party of some kind.  The background of that event is the great unifier:  music.  By mid-December, you may be getting a bit tired of hearing Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” or contemplate stuffing something into those sleigh bells to stop them ringing, but it’s the music that, so often, is responsible for putting us in the mood.

The holidays also include many wonderful live performance choices, especially if you live in a vital metropolitan area like Chicago.  You have so many choices, that it can be hard to decide what to enjoy!  The Nutcracker, holiday shows by Chicago Ac Capella, the Chicago Symphony Welcome Yule, many & various productions of The Christmas Carol; the list is extensive & tremendous.

We encourage you to turn off the television, leave the confines of your living room, brave the elements & treat yourself to a few nights of real, live entertainment.

And, of course, we wish you the Happiest of Holidays & a new year filled with love, peace and best of all, live music.

Have you ever been to a GREAT party?

One thing that really gets me, is losing a client to a D.J..  Don’t get me wrong.  Our company created D.J.’s in Chicago.  There was no such animal.  When we went to advertise, there was no category for us.  The whole reason we started down that road, was to accommodate the client that didn’t have the budget for Live Music.  How times have changed.  Obviously, the economical reason to use a D.J. instead of a great band still exists.  However, it’s the client (usually in their 20’s) who tells me that they have decided to go with a D.J., not because of budget, but because their friends tell them “Don’t get a Band!  A D.J. is SO MUCH better!”, that makes me sigh with sincere disappointment.

It wasn’t until recently, that it dawned on me:  We have never performed at a bad party.  Our party’s are FABULOUS.   Have these friends, whose opinion’s are so important to my client’s, ever been to a GREAT party?  In fact, if you are in your 20’s, how many parties have you been to?  Have you been to thousands?  Because, I have.  I am willing to bet that my client’s friends have been to two or three weddings, at the most.  & of those two or three, how many had Live Music?  Maybe one.  Maybe.  This is not a wise & experienced advisor.

I love what I do.  I am so proud of the job we do, from the first contact with prospective clients, to the cries of “Encore” & “One more!!” at the end of another GREAT party.  Our office staff is expert, pleasant & helpful, our musicians are the best, our Vocalists world class.  We give you our all.  & we promise you a GREAT party.

Story Book Wedding at the Field Museum!

Weddings are my very favorite event at which to perform.  Hands down.  I know a lot of my colleagues don’t agree with me.  I ran into one of them recently, when we happened to be doing a Corporate event at a downtown hotel.  He asked what we were doing there & I told him.  I then asked what he was doing and he replied quote:  “Oh, just a f*&king wedding”.   This not only shocked me, but made me a little angry.  Every wedding is a once in a lifetime event & the most important day or night in at least two people’s lives.  It’s a privilege to be there & make it a success.

That being said, our wedding a short time ago at the Field Museum, was a door buster, even in our vast experience.  It was a seamlessly coordinated effort from all angles, flawlessly pull it off & we did.  One initial challenge:  There was a Dave Matthews Band concert on Northernly Island the same night & if you’re familiar with Chicago, you will know that the Museum Campus shares all parking space with that facility!  Once we got advance notice, we acted quickly to secure parking or travel arrangements for guests & staff.  Does this sound easy?  It took a tremendous amount of planning & cooperation.  & traffic that night was nightmarish.  We have done events where up to 40% of guests invited couldn’t make it to the party on time, many turning around & going home in frustration.  It’s important when doing these downtown locations, to have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on.

Stanley Hall in the Field Museum is an awesome place.  Add gorgeous lighting, linens & flowers & it’s magical.  We always take great care with our sound production, when working this hall & the challenges are considerable.  Our goal is to have the best sound at the most tasteful volume & this was achieved.  The bride’s family were from Italy & when she found out that myself & Nancy, one of our Lead Vocalists are trained in Opera, she had us perform several popular Italian arias.  She & I have performed at the Lyric Opera House & Symphony Center & I think it sounded every bit as good in Stanley Hall!

The groom was Syrian & they asked us to accommodate those guests as well, which we were happy to do.  The blending of the two cultures was beautiful.  I feel confident that every guest went home thinking it was the most incredible wedding they’d ever attended.  It certainly was memorable for us. 

Our thanks go out to the two families, for making us a part of such a spectacular night. 

A Jewel in Joliet

For many years now, we have regularly performed at all the most prestigious locations in the Chicagoland area: the Drake Hotel, Chicago Hilton & Towers, Peninsula, Ritz-Carleton, the Field Museum, Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, Planetarium…the list goes on.  Each of these places has a particular elegance, charm or unique quality.  When you think about a beautiful location, you probably think about the City.

Of course, we perform a great deal in the suburbs as well.  Not only with our Social/Private Party work, but with our Corporate Clients.  However, it has been awhile since ventured out to Joliet.  And I’m so glad we did.

Last weekend, we performed for a wedding at the Patrick Haley Mansion (patrickhaleymansion.com), built in the late 1800’s by Patrick Haley, then the Mayor, commissioning the nationally known architect & Egyptologist Frank Shaver Allen.  The old building has been fabulously restored, utilizing much of the original hardwood artistry & stained glass, all done with exquisite taste.  They added a fantastic party room to the back of the facility, with a conservatoire feel, floor to ceiling windows looking out at the beautiful garden & gazebo & a glass ceiling over the dance floor that reminds you a little of heaven.

We provided Ceremony music out in the garden for the Wedding Service, then guests moved in to the mansion for cocktails, moving easily throughout the elegant yet warmly inviting rooms.  The staff could not have been friendlier or more accommodating, not only for the Client & the guests, but also for those of us working there.  It is a reminder that we ALL have one thing to do:  make sure our Client has the most enjoyable event & we should all work together to make sure that happens.  In this case, not only was it accomplished with finesse, we all had a great time making it so. 

Additionally, there was ample parking immediately adjacent to the facility (also beautifully landscaped) & with the addition to I355 to the south, it is quite convenient to get to from all directions.

If you are thinking about a suburban event & you want something different, private, beautiful, welcoming & well run, think about the Patrick Haley Mansion.

 

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.