Thursday, December 27, 2012

12/22/12 Nina & Brad

Strolling Violin for Cocktails
DJ Music for Dinner and Dancing

It was great to be back with the Carrilo family for the second Holiday wedding in two years.

Introduction Music: "You're The First, The Last, My Everything"  Barry White
First Dance: "The Way You Look Tonight"  Frank Sinatra
Musical Toast on Violin: "Over The Rainbow"
Wedding Party Dance: "I Gotta Feelin"  Black Eyed Peas
Bride and her Dad: "I Loved Her First"  Heartland
Groom and his Mom: "What A Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong
Longest Married Couple Dance: "Love And Marriage"  Frank Sinatra
Last Song: "Everything"  Michael Buble

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12/23/12 Allegheny Country Club Candlelight Christmas Dinner

The ballroom glowed with candles as John - on their Steinway grand piano -  and I played Holiday songs for the biggest crowd they've had in a long time.  It must be at least 10 years we have been playing this party and it's always one we look forward to.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

12/21/12 Massaro Construction Holiday Party

The blustery evening did not keep 375 employees and their families from coming to the Comfort Inn in Blawnox.  About 100 kids received gifts directly from Santa Claus whose appearance made everyone smile. Then the dance floor filled with kids and adults showing of their best moves to "Gangnam Style".  A good time was had by all.

Call 724-444-8400 or visit for more information.

12/20/12 UPMC Monroeville

Thanks to Kari Fessides for having me be a part of the Physician Staff Party at their beautiful, brand-spanking new facility.  A lovely party with fine wine and the best looking lamb chops I've ever seen.

Happy Holidays !

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Friday, December 21, 2012

12/15/12 Thank You for Pianist Jack Nicolette

"Thank you do much for your superior performance at our Christmas party. Your talent adds an air of festivity and sophistication and was enjoyed by all.  Happy Holidays"
Sharon    Union Electric Steel Corporation

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

12/19/12 Providence Point

The egg nog and cookies were flowing for the residents in the Medical Center as I played requests and my Holiday favorites.  Sweet bunch.

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12/19/12 PPG Food Court

With John Garrick on Keyboards we played through 2 hours of our best Holiday music. A pleasant crowd of student groups. business people, shoppers and tourists kept us as entertained as we hope we entertained them.  Thanks to Anita for having us back for another year.  Watch a few clips:

“Jingle Bell Rock” Keystring Duo at PPG Place

“O Holy Night” Keystring Duo at PPG Place

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” Keystring Duo at PPG Place

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12/18/12 Fifth Avenue Place

For the third and final time this year.  The people watching is more than half the fun.

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12/16/12 Oakmont Country Club

Thanks to Rick Purcell for hooking me up to play the Club Holiday Brunch again this year.  First class all the way !  Believe it or not there were dozens of golfers on the course - on December 16 !

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12/15/12 Megan & Steve

It was back to the Carnegie where I greeted guests at the entrance to Solo Strolling Violin then jined John on Keyboards for Cocktails.  Once the couple was introduced John played the Grand Piano in the Music Hall foyer while I strolled through the crowd during dinner.  My two Bose sound systems filled that room like I've never heard it before.  Love that place !  Beautifully decorated, too.

Thanks to Wedding Planner Natalie Berger and to Eileen, Bill, Allison, Glenn from the hall and Parkhurst Food Service.

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12/14/12 NV Ryan Homes Holiday Party

It was their first full blast Holiday Party since 2003 - and they let loose.  So, hopefully this is a good sign for the economy.

DJ music during Cocktails
Strolling Violin requests during Dinner
DJ dance music for the rest of the night.

Thanks to Cindy for the invite and to Joe, Eric, Patty, and Madeline for their hospitality at the Sheraton Hotel at Station Square.

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12/9/12 Hanukah Party at Weinberg Terrace

"My Dreidel", "The Hanukah Song" and "Fiddler On The Roof" topped the requests by the residents and their families. Thanks to Leslie for the invitation to come back.

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12/8/12 Pittsburgh Conference Dinner

Thanks to Linda and Ginny to come back to play for this fine group of professionals.  I'd tell you what they do but I would need a science translator.  The Carnegie Music Hall Foyer was the beautiful backdrop to this elegant affair which featured me doing Strolling Violin along with the Crystal Strings Quintet and Vocalist Colleen Gray.  Here are a few clips:

"The Prayer" CRYSTAL STRINGS QUINTET with Vocalist Colleen Gray

"Ave Maria" by Schubert  CRYSTAL STRINGS QUINTET with Voclaist Colleen Gray

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12/5/12 Childrens Hospital Physicians Party

One of my favorite parties of the year at The Carnegie Music Hall Foyer.  We get to do a full orchestra of me, John on piano, two more violins, viola, cello and bass for 700 + guests.  The JazzMo Trio finished off the night. Here are a few clips.

"Hallelujah" Steven Vance String Symphony at The Carnegie

"Charade"  Steven Vance String Symphony at The Carnegie

"Ashokan Farewell" Steven Vance String Symphony at The Carnegie

"S'Wonderful" Steven Vance String Symphony at The Carnegie

"Galop Infernal" (Can Can) Steven Vance String Symphony at The Carnegie

JazzMo Trio Medley

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12/5/12 Fifth Avenue Place

It's always great to play in the spacious lobby of this beautiful building.  Not only are the acoustics great but I never fail to see an old friend I have not seen in years.  Never a dull moment.  Thanks to Erica and the staff.

Solo Strolling Violin.

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12/4/12 Providence Point

The Victorian Carolers stole the show at his Holiday Party.  I was there as the warm-up act.  Always fun.

Hear them sing "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" here.

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12/4/12 Christmas Phantasy Show

John and I started with Violin and Keyboards during lunch and Lee Alverson and Betsy Lawrence wowed the crowd with their Holiday and Phantom selections.  14th year in a row for AAA Travel at The Grand Hall At The Priory.

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12/2/12 Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do Holiday Party

It was my second time back for this lively event. A very respectful group of young people and their parents enjoyed the Electric Violin with backing tracks during Cocktails, Strolling Violin requests during dinner and about 150 people hit the dance floor for the first request by Master Kong - "Gangnam Style", of course.  Thanks to Master Dee for the invite - and Phillip at the Four Points Sheraton for the hospitality. They already asked me back for next year.

Contact us at 724-444-8400 or visit

12/1/13 Ashley & Brad

Cameron Strings Trio for the Ceremony
Steel Drums for the Cocktails
Strolling Violin for Dinner
DJ dance music

We provided a  full night of entertainment this happy couple.  Here are some hightlights
Mom's Procession: "Rondeau" by Mouret
Bridesmaids Procession:"Flower Duet" from "Lakme" by Delibes.  See video at
Bride's Procession: "Hysteric" by The Yeah, Yeah Yeah's.  See video at
Recession: "Somebody To Love" by Queen

See video os Steel Drums playing "Margaritaville" at

Intro Music; " You're My Best Friend"  Queen
Cake: "I will Not Take My Love Away" Matt Wertz
First Dance: "Book Of Love" Peter Gabriel
Bride & Dad: "Child Of Mine" Carole King
Bride & StepDad: "In My Daughters Eyes"  Martina McBride
Groom & Mom; "Stand By me"  Ben E. King

Bouquet Toss: “I Belong In Your Arms”  
Garter Removal  “Forever” 
Garter Toss “Heroes”           
Last Dance:  “Last Dance”  Donna Summer

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12/1/13 Schenley Gardens

I'm not sure who was the more important visitor - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl or Santa Claus - at this afternoon Holiday gathering.  It was nice to see old faces and make new friends.  Thanks to Bob abd Rose Marie for the invite.

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11/30/12 Market District Shadyside

Things were swinging in Shadyside as we played Holiday favorites all evening in the store.  Good times.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wedding Reception Music : Cake Cutting

This song plays while the bride and groom cut the cake in a symbolic gesture.  Some couples like this to be a fun experience and some others prefer this to be a more elegant moment.  The music that you choose will set the mood.

How Sweet It Is  - James Taylor
Sugar, Sugar – The Archies
I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops
The Sweetest Thing – U2
That’s Amore – Dean Martin
I Do – Colbie Caillat
Love And Marriage – Frank Sinatra
Ain’t That A Kick In the Head – Dean Martin
My Eyes Adored You – The Four Seasons
Bad Things – Jace Everett
Signed Sealed Delivered – Stevie Wonder
1, 2, 3, 4 – The Plain White Tees
Accidentally In Love – The Counting Crows
Better Together – Jack Johnson
I Wanna Grow Old – Adam Sandler
Wink And A Smile – Harry Connick Jr.
Never Gonna Be Alone – Nickelback
If Not For You – Bob Dylan
Candyman – Christina Aguilera
Lucky – Jason Mraz
Finiculi, Finicula
Love And Marriage - Frank Sinatra
Happy Together – The Turtles
Kisses And Cake - John Powell
O Mio Babbino Caro
I Can't Help Myself – The Four Tops
I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders
Angelina Zooma Zooma -  Louis Prima
I Only Have Eyes For You – The Flamingoes
The Wedding Song – Peter Paul and Mary
Jessica - Allman Brothers
Better Together - Jack Johnson
Today Was A Fairytale - The Damnwells

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit 

Monday, December 10, 2012

30,000 views on YouTube

We hit a landmark last week when our YouTube Channel hit 30,000 views.  With recent addition as we now feature nearly 200 videos of dozens of different performers and groups. Check it out at  Enjoy !

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wedding Reception Music: Songs for Bouquet Toss, Garter Toss

A fun moment for the wedding guests is rounding up all the unmarried ladies for the bouquet toss.  Symbolically, the one who catches the bouquet will be the next to wed.  The music chosen for this event should get the attention of the guests.

Single Ladies – Beyonce 
If You Wanna Be My Lover – Spice Girls
Pretty Girl Rock
On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez
Chapel Of Love
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Doo Wah Diddy - Manfred Mann
I Do - Colbie Caillat
Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
Take A Chance On Me - ABBA

The groom removes the garter from the leg of the bride in an often raucous fashion.  The music chosen for this moment can really enhance it.  

Mission Impossible
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon
Stripper Theme
Cherry Pie – Warrant
Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
When I Said I Do – Clint Black
Down in Mexico – Coasters
Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins

As the groom tosses the garter to the unmarried men, the legend goes that the one who catches it will be the next to marry.  

Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
Macho Men – The Village People
Badd Boys – Inner Circle
Troublemaker – Weezer

Some couples include a moment where the man who caught the garter puts it on the leg of the lady who caught the bouquet. 

Into the Groove – Madonna
Freakum Dress – Beyonce
Like A Virgin – Madonna
Wild Thing – Tone Loc
Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye
Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO
Pony – Ginuwine
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit

Friday, December 7, 2012

Crystal Strings and Harpist Thank You

"I wanted to let you know that the musical accompaniment to my parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration was fabulous.  The party was held at Phipps Conservatory this past Saturday (Dec. 1).  Rachel Joseph strummed the harp beautifully for us and CrystalStrings (Crystal Lennartz) did a fantastic job with a terrific repertoire.  Thank you for playing a part in our celebration."
Ed Weir  December 1, 2012

Harpist Rachel Joseph for Cocktails

Call 724-444-8400 or visit for more information.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tonight at the Market District store in Shadyside

John Garrick (Keyboards) and I will be playing all Holiday music this evening from 6-8 at the Centre Avenue store.  I hope in the cafe but sometimes they set us up in the demo kitchen area.  FREE !  Islands music master John MCDonald will be there from 4-6.

Say hello if you come by

Call 724-444-8400 or visit

11/29/12 Washington County Medical Society

Dottie Hostovich put on a first-class event again for the Annual Awards Dinner at Southpointe Golf Club. It was nice to see Past President Dr. Michael Plato and his wife Cindy - I played at their wedding - and Allegheny County Medical Society Executive Director Jack Krah.

Solo Strolling Violin

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11/27/12 Blind And Vision Rehab Reception

Thanks to Nancy Guilotti and the nice folks at Blind and Vision Rehab for having me be part of their Donor Appreciation Reception at the glorious Grand Hall At The Priory.  Former Steeler Mike Wagner was the MC - should have gotten a picture with him.

Special thanks to Gene and his crew at The Grand Hall.  See you next week for Christmas Phantasy.

Solo Strolling Violin

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11/29/12 Presents For Patients Thank You

Special thanks to Jay and Nate for a great performance last night!  They did a super job and really added something special to the “Country Christmas/ PRESENTS FOR PATIENTS® kick off last evening.  It’s really appreciated.  Thanks again for everything including your graciousness on the fees.

Allyson, St. Barnaba Charities

Performers were Guitarist/Vocalist Jay Hitt and Fiddler Nate Goodrich.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

11/17/12 Wine Dinner

The wine and conversation were flowing at the Fox Chapel Golf Club last Saturday as I shared the musical bill with Harpist Suzanne Hershey.  They kept me overtime, let me sample a few wines, and invited me back for next year.  All in all a good night. Thanks to my host Dave and Club Manager Carrie Glass for the hospitality.

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11/17/12 American Cancer Society Benefit Tea

I cannot believe I did not take a picture of this gorgeous home.  Completely done in Western theme, the open beam ceilings and deer-heads made you feel like you were in Montana - not Prospect PA.

Thanks to Neva, her helpers and the 75 women who attended.  It was announced that they were nearing the $50,000 mark in donations to this worthy cause. I've lost count as to how many years I have played this but I promise to take pics next year.

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11/16/12 Canterbury Place

It was nice to spend some time with the nice folks at Canterbury Place as part of their Light-Up Night Dinner.

Great view.  Thanks to Donnie for having me back for the umpteenth time.

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11/22/12 Thanksgiving Dinner

The Ramada above Route 30 in Greensburg put out a fabulous display of food for their annual Thanksgiving buffet.  Thanks to Chris and the Chef for their third invite to a Holiday event.

Strolling Violin

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11/24/12 Market District at Settlers Ridge

John and I enjoyed playing a mix of Holiday tunes and our usual variety for shoppes in the Cafe area of the store.  What a nice bunch.

This Friday we will be playing at the Shadyside Market District store from 6-8.  All holiday music.  Free and open to the public.

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit

11/10/12 Thank You

"I couldn't be happier with your performance at our wedding this past Saturday at The Mansion at Maple Heights. Your talent and professionalism was much appreciated by me, my husband, and our families. Thank you (a million times) for being a part of our ceremony and adding to it's perfection! "

Meghan & Tim    November 2012

String Quartet for the Ceremony

Wedding Reception Music : Bride/Dad Dance


This can be a very touching moment in the wedding reception where the bride dances with her father.  This can be a big deal to Dad's so let him have some input.

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
My Wish – Rascal Flatts
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
The Rainbow Connection
Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
Daughters – John Mayer
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman
Moon River – Andy Williams
My Girl – The Temptations
Unforgettable – Nat and Natalie Cole
Angel Dance – Robert Plant
It’s a Great Day To Be Alive – Travis Tritt
Moonlight Serenade – Glenn Miller
In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Daddy’s Little Girl – Al Martino
Daddy’s Little Girl -Michael Bolton
Daddy Let’s Dance -  Jamie Tate
My Little Girl -  Tim McGraw
Faithfully – Journey
I Loved Her First – Heartland
Shining Star – The Manhattans
In My Daughter’s Eyes -  Martina McBride
Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
A Song For My Daughter – Ray Allaire
Waltz Across Texas – Ernest Tubb
I’m So Proud – The Impressions
Sweet Child Of Mine – Luna
There You’ll Be – Faith Hill
Hero - Mariah Carey
Blessed - Elton John
Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World - Izzy K
You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker
I'll Be There - Josh Turner
Beauty And The Beast
Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
Ain't That A Kick In The Head - Dean Martin
Through the Years -            Kenny Rogers           
The Way You Look Tonight - Harry Connick
The Circle Game - Joni Mitchell
Blackbird - Beatles
My Wish - Rascal Flatts
Daddy's Angel - T. Carter
Never Alone – Lady Antebellum
My Girl – Temptations
My Little Girl - Tim McGraw
Celtic Woman
I Loved Her First - Heartland

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Best Thank You Note Ever

Dear Steven,

Thank you for the very kind thank you card -- but believe me, it is Brian and myself who are so truly grateful to you and John.

We can't thank you enough for making our wedding day perfect for us.  Our guests are also still "singing" your praises as well!

But in all seriousness, I will never forget walking down the aisle to the most beautiful melody that is "I've Dreamed of You."  You really touched my heart with that as well as all the music you played for us.  Before I met Brian, which took longer than expected, I had years of "Barbara" to keep me company, and so I will never forget getting to share them both at the same time -- a dream come true. 

You are both so wonderful and talented.  We will never forget you.

All the best,
Rachel & Brian

Keystring Duo for The Ceremony, Cocktails and DJ music breaks DJ Steven Vance

11/10/12 Meghan & Tim

Wedding Ceremony at The Mansion At Maple Heights

String Quartet  Two Violins, Viola, Cello

"O Mio Babbino Caro" Puccini
"Air On The G String" Bach
"Jesu, Joy Of Mans Desiring"  Bach

Mom's Procession: "Amazing Grace" Solo Violin version
Bridesmaids and Bride: "Canon In D" Pachelbel
Unity Candle" "Air" from "Watermusik"
Recessional: "Kesh Jig" (Irish)
Postlude: "Ode To Joy"  Beethoven

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit

11/10/12 Mike and Kelly

Location : Phipps Conservatory

Ceremony : Solo
Reception : Strolling Violin and DJ Performance Package

Music Highlights:
Prelude - Air on the G String, Simple Gifts, Ode To Joy, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Mom's Processional - Trumpet Voluntary
Bridesmaids - Canon in D
Bride Processional - Wedding March
Recessional - Wedding March
Postlude - La Rejouissance

Reception Music Highlights:
Introductions Music - "September" Earth Wind and Fire
Cake Cutting - "The Sweetest Thing" U2
Musical Toast - "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" (See Video)

First Dance - "Hold You In My Arms" Ray LaMontagne

Bride/Dad - "What a Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong
Groom/Mom - "Imagine" John Lennon
Longest Married Couple - "I'll Be There" Jackson 5
Last Song - "Modern Nature"

Yummy dessert table.

Our new DJ table top

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit

Wedding Reception Music : The First Dance

This song is the one that accompanies your first dance as husband and wife and becomes part of the soundtrack to your life .  Romantic, sentimental, fun, eclectic, contemporary, classic ... your choice. This is what couples have been using over the past 2 years.

Marry Me – Train
Then – Brad Paisley
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley
Crush - Dave Mathews Band
At Last – Etta James
True Companion -  Marc Cohn
Hero – Enrique Iglesias
The Way – Bruce Springsteen
When You Got A Good Thing – Lady Antebellum
Wouldn’t Change  A Thing – Matthew West
Vito’s Waltz – The Godfather
Beauty And The Beast – played on the Violin
I See You (from Avatar)– Leona Lewis
Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
When You Say Nothing At All – Ronan Keating
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
Sweet And Wild – The Clarks
Someone Like You – Van Morrison
Life After You – Daughtry
I Will – The Beatles
When I Say I Do – Matthew West
Unthinkable – Alicia Keys
Me And You – Kenny Chesney
Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – Jersey Boys
Penguin – Christina Perry
I’m So Proud – The Impressions
The Best Is Yet To Come – Tony Bennett
Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis
Your Song – Elton John and Alessandro Safina
Stay With You – John Legend
Your Song – Elton John
Sleepwalk – Santo and Johnny
The Most – Jon Troast
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You – Michael Jackson
Ain’t That A Kick In The Head – Dean Martin
Feels Like Home – Neil Diamond
By Your Side – Sade
When You Say Nothing At All- Allison Krauss
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You – Rod Stewart
Have A Little Faith - by John Hiatt
God Gave Me You - Blake Shelton
Then - Brad Paisley
The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
Lost In Your Eyes - Debbie Gibson
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole/ Natalie Cole
You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker, Luciano Pavarotti, and Alex Britti
Come What May - Nicole Kidman and Mario Frangoulis
Marry Me - Train
I Swear -  All 4 One
Far Away - Nickelback
Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis
O Sole Mio - Il Volo
Your Song -  Elton John
Stand By Me - Ben E King
I Love You This Big - Scott McCreary
Make You Feel My Love - Adele
Can't Help Falling In Love With You - Michael Buble
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
You Make It Real - James Morrison
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Try Me - James Brown
Unstoppable - Keaton Simmons
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Tonight And Forever – The Damnwells

For more information call 724-444-8400 or visit