Halloween Songs to Put the Fright in Your Night

Orange you glad it’s Halloween?

Scary Halloween songs are creeping up on spooky party-givers’ minds about now.  Aside from the usual favorites, here’s a short list of spooky tunes, with an eye (ball) for some less familiar songs that’ll still give you a bit of a fright!  (Click on titles to hear them.)

What’s on your Halloween song list of frightful favorites?  I look forward to sharing your lists–have a spook-tacular holiday!

Visit us at www.RSVPorchestra.com or on our Facebook page.

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Happy Birthday Charles Ives, an American Original

Charles Ives

 It’s Charles Ives’ birthday Oct. 20.  No, not the guy from 19th century printmaker Currier & Ives.  Born in 1874, he is one of America’s greatest classical music composers.  Ives combined adventurous experiments in music with his love for the music of the common American of his day: church hymns, marches, folk songs, ragtime.

Charles Ives’ music grabbed me from the first time I heard it–quite different from the music I usually make!  Its unconventional harmonies, complex rhythms and layering of melodies make for compelling–if sometimes challenging–listening, and his writings reflect this same bold, no-holds-barred attitude.  One of my favorite Ives quotations is as pertinent today as it was when written in the 1930’s:

“Men (that is, women and men) are so constituted that they are at first more inclined to buy the easy to hear and look [at] it than the difficult.  Toward art in general, especially music, they are like the five year old boy who comes down to breakfast.  He sees two tables in the dining room: (1) nice lollypops, (2) oatmeal.  He goes to #1, if he has his way.  But most of them don’t always have their own way…For that reason most boys go to #2, and they grow up strong, more or less.  But towards music…the majority still go to table #1 (lollypops etc.), because the president, the directors, and stockholders of the…companies are weak sisters, and not strong fathers and mothers—for there is more money in selling #1 because it’s easier to sell.”

Happy Birthday, Charlie!  May your visionary music never cease to amaze and inspire its listeners.

The Joy of Making Music

Making joyous music with Jennifer Silk and The Roy Vombrack Orchestra. (Photo: Richard Shay Photography) A numerologist once told me my “numbers” reveal my purpose in life is to bring joy and optimism to others.  Maybe that’s why I love what I do: playing music to make people’s happy and celebratory occasions even more so.

From the time I began playing in rock bands in high school, I never had a desire to be a solo “artiste”—making music in a band setting and entertaining a crowd is what really appealed to me.   And even though my primary instrument was sax, I was never just a “jazzer”—I loved all kinds of music: rock, jazz, country, blues, classical.  I would listen closely to recordings to figure out what made the different genres special, which I later put to great use in creating hundreds of different types of music tracks for TV and radio commercials.

I carry this same love of variety into the RSVP Orchestra’s performances.  Weddings, corporate events, galas, concerts—their audiences are diverse in ages and tastes within the same event, but they share a common desire: to be entertained and have a good time.  Our mission: to have everyone who hears us feel we have played something just for them, and to play it with feeling and enthusiasm.

It’s not just playing or singing the “right notes”, it’s how we play and sing them that connects us with our crowd.  Judging from the unsolicited testimonials you can read at www.vombrack.com, I’m glad to say my life-purpose gets renewed on a regular basis.

You can also visit us at our Facebook page.

Live Big Band Jazz in Chicago

The Jazz Consortium Big Band

A personal performance note:  there’s nothing like live music, and there’s nothing quite like hearing a 17-piece Big Band up close and personal.  Come be amazed by the Jazz Consortium Big Band, a swinging, rocking, roaring Big Band that I lead which performs the second Sunday of every month at Durty Nellie’s Pub, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine, IL.

It’s not your grandfather’s Big Band–you’ll hear the best of the classic and modern swing and jazz-rock Big Band sounds played with energy and style.  It’s open to all ages, and food and drink are available during our show.   Be there or be square!

Visit us at www.jcbigband.com.