Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5/20/12 CMU/INI Graduation

My SkyView Jazz Trio with John Garrick on Keyboards and Dave Pellow on Acoustic Bass laid down the groove as background music for the best graduation reception on campus. The Information Networking Institute department laid out a nice spread for grads and guests at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  Thanks to Christa Jones for the chance to provide music for the third year in a row.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

5/19/12 Ariana & Jason

It is  a small world. When the bride's Mom gave me the details for a contract she told me the groom's name and I told her I knew a family by that name from my old neighborhood.  Not only was the Dad a kid I played baseball with but I rented the first floor of their house for a year after college. Another gorgeous day at The Buhl Mansion in Sharon PA.

A new set up by the fountain on the grounds was the backdrop for a new musical effort.  I played the electric violin over backing tracks of "Today Was A Fairytale" for the Procession and "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles.  We have the technology.  Thanks to Marci for her direction and continued support. As usual, JPC Group put out a fine spread. Try the Root Beer Float down the street at Donna's Diner.  A fun trip all around.
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5/18/12 Providence Point

It was my second time playing for their annual Art Show and reception.  The art looked great and the wine was flowing on a beautiful afternoon in Mt. Lebanon.  Thanks to Sarah Gross for the chance to come back to Providence Point and show off my golden violin.

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5/18/12 Garret and Lyuba's Wedding

Palmieri's in Plum Boro was the site of this intimate affair.  Garret is serving in the Air Force and is stationed in Italy where he met the Russian-born Lyuba.  Very cute couple gathered family and friends for a ceremony conducted by Rev. Larry Goyda followed by a tasty buffet.
Bride's procession: "Canon In D" by Pachelbel
Recessional: "Trumpet Voluntary"
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5/17/12 Childrens Hospital Physicians Alumni

Current and past docs from Childrens Hospital held their annual social event at Phipps Conservatory.  It was me solo in the garden for cocktails on a gorgeous evening.

No one wanted to come inside but eventually they made their way down to the Special Events Room and Tropical garden for a beautful buffet provided by Sodexo catering.

After that it was back up to the Palm Court for a sweet finishing touch.  Thanks to Amy Gelzheiser and Dr. Andrew Urbach for the chance to come back for the 3rd or 4th year in a row.  Always nice to work with Jeff, Sara, Emily, Gina, and Colleen at Phipps.
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5/16/12 Robin Hill Park

John and I were privileged to kick off the Robin Hill Park concert series this year in Moon Twp. It was a beautiful day and we filled with beautiful music from our vast repertoire of greatest hits from all styles.  Wish we could do more of those.  Thanks to Lance Welliver at Moon Parks and Recreation for a memorable day.

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5/13/12 Mothers Day

Spent time playing music for residents and families at both Golden Living in Canonsburg and Asbury Villas in Mt. Lebanon.  Then made it back in time to take out my wife and son for our own celebration.
Thanks to Noel and Linda for having me again and again.

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5/12/12 Maura and Michael

My Keystring Duo (Violin and Piano) started swinging in the Gandy Dancer to get the crowd warmed up.  It was nice to see old friends and others who have worked with Maura's step-Dad singer songwriter Mike Stout.  After the couple was introduced down the grand staircase of the Grand Concourse (yes, I did two there in the same day with one in between) John and I accompanied Mike on a song he wrote for the couple.  The crowd loved it.  From there it was a leisurely dinner and several hours of dancing.

Music highlights-
Intro music: "I Gotta Feeling" Black Eyed Peas
First Violin Request: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
Cake: "Kisses And Cake" by John Powell
First Dance: "True Companion" Marc Cohn
Wedding Party: "Dance So Good" by Wakey, Wakey
Bride and Dad: "Over The Rainbow" by Izzy K
Groom and Mom: " My Wish" Rascal Flatts
Last Song: "Closing Time" Semisonic

Another grand night at the Grand Concourse.

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5/12/12 Mothers Day Market District Pine Twp

Even though celebrity chef Mario Batali had top billing I go to play a supporting role in this special promotion for Moms the Giant Eagle Market District store in Pine.  Music throughout the store, chair massages, Mario - live and on closed-circuit TV, and more were all designed to make the shopping experience extraordinary for  all the deserving Moms.

Thanks to Kim at Bees Knees Entertainment for setting this up.

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5/12/12 The Secret Wedding

This couple did not want anyone from their workplace - where they had seen me- to know they were getting married so I can't give away their names.  The Grand Concourse had it's golden glow going as I played "What A Wonderful World" for the Brides entrance nad "Ode To Joy" for the Recessional.  Here is a cute note I received from the bride a few days before -
"I have a little problem.  I was planning to start the Ceremony at 10:30 but (my fiance) needs to be at work by 12 Noon.  Would it be possible to start at 10:00 ?"
I don't hear that every day. Sure enough, Brian at the GC said after lunch the groom changes and went to work.

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5/11/12 Megan and Chris

Hyeholde is one of my favorite spots for a Wedding Reception. The Round Room has an ambience like any other in the area.  With a smaller group of 40 guests we were able to put the piano out on the dance floor and put on a nice musical show with specail requests from the couple which included "Only Time" by Enya, "The Ludlows Theme" from "Legends Of The Fall", Russian and Hungarian favorites ( the bride's grandfather played this music on his accordion), "The Gael" from "Last Of The Mohicans",
What A Wonderful World" and "Time To Say Goodbye" as the last song of the night.
Thanks to Matthew for keeping the piano in good shape and to photographer Leeann Marie for the pics shse sent.  Hope to have them posted soon.

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5/11/12 St. Barnabas Retirement Village

Pam Fickes invites us back every year to do a full concert-style performance in Hilltop Hall at St. Barnabas for their discerning residents.  This time I got to show off my new golden violin as we worked in some our of our new tunes from the film "Legends Of The Fall" and also Titanic dinner music.  As always, one resident asked for "Orange Blossom Special" which was a the first time on the new fiddle.

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5/5/12 Bob & Sally's Wedding Ceremony

High on the hill in Coraopolis Heights the tent overlooked the city as they took their vows from Rev. Larry Goyda.  A lovely setting and lovely couple.
Bridesmaid Procession: "Canon In D" Pachelbel
Brides Entrance "Bridal March" (Here Comes the Bride) by Wagner
Recessional: "Ode To Joy"
Special thanks to Wedding Planner Millie Krulac for making it all happen.
Note to all outdoor weddings on a hot day - The icing on the cake may get so warm that it will not hold a heavy topper.  At this wedding it slid off twice.
Feedback from Millie "Steven was AWESOME !!!!  He is very kind, accomdating, prompt, professional, and talented.  He is well worth every penny."

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5/5/12 Maureen and Tim's Wedding

The Ceremony was at the beautiful Campbell Memorial Chapel on the campus of Chatham University.  John played the full size Steinway Grand Piano and I was filling the space with my new golden violin.
Then it was off to Phipps Conservatory for Cocktails in the Tropical Garden and Dinner and Dancing in the Special Events Room. Tim showed off some killer dance moves including a full split that blew away the crowd. Here are the music highlights:
Moms and Bridemainds Procession: "When Summer Ends" Scottish Air
Bride's Grand Entrance: "Canon In D" Pachelbel
Roses To Moms: "Bouree by Handel
Recessional: "Spring" from "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi
Introductions Music: "L-O-V-E" by Nat Cole
First Violin Request: "AllI Ask Of you" from "Phantom of The Opera"
Cake: "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies
First Dance: "Come What May" Nicole Kidman and Mario Frangoulis
Bride & Dad: "From A Jack To A King" because as a kid her Dad tried to teach her to dance to this song Groom & Mom: "Puff The Magic Dragon" Mom sang this as a lullaby
Bouquet Toss: "I Do" by Colbie Caillat
Special Dance request:  "The Time Warp" where Tim and his crew  did the whole routine.
Thanks to Jeff of Sodexo Catering, Sara, Gina, and crew at Phipps, and Dawn at Chatham for a great day and night.

Call 724-444-8400 or go to http://www.stevenvance.com/

Friday, May 11, 2012

5/4/12 Gabriela & Roderick's Wedding Reception

There is no room grander than the Music Hall Foyer of The Carnegie in Oakland and the space never looked better as I greeted guests with music for Cocktails.  Light Classical and Spanish flavored favorites were requested until the Bride and Groom made their appearance.  Then, in a first, I was asked to play along with a recording of the waltz "Voices Of Spring" by Strauss as the couple danced a choreographed step alone on the dance floor - besides me - as the guests watched from the balcony above.  Can't wait to see the photos taken by Paul and Cindy Meyer.  Special thanks to DJ Jeremy Ganss for the use of his sound system and to Liza West from The Carnegie who is always ready to help. It was nice to meet and work with Laura who is a planner from On the Nose Events.

Call 724-444-8400 or go to http://www.stevenvance.com/

5/4/12 James & Gemma's Wedding Ceremony

The has the perfect day for an outdoor Wedding at the Hyeholde.  Rev. Larry Goyda officiated over this pleasant service in the garden.  I even ran into some friends from the old neighborhood and had a few minutes to enjoy the hospitality before blasting off to the next one.  Music highlights -
Mother's Entrance: "Rigaudon" by Campra
Bridemaid Entrance: "Canon In D"
Bride Procession: "Trumpet Voluntary" (Prince Of Demnark March) by Clarke
Roses: "Ave Maria" by Schubert
Recessional: "Spring" from "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi.
As always, thanks to Matthew and his staff at Hyeholde.

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5/3/12 Wine Tasting at Atria Senior Living

Thanks to Donna Canovali at Atria and the people from 6 Mile Cellars Winery in Erie PA for having me play for their marketing event. Donna's request for "Time To Say Goodbye" was perfect for the last song.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 1-6 "Martin R. Delany Lives"

I had the pleasure of being part of the Mike Stout and His Human Union Band as pit orchestra for the stage show "Martin R. Delany Lives" based on the life of this remarkable African-American Pittsburgh who no one has ever heard of.  Started the first black newspaper west of the Alleghenies, first African-American admitted to Harvard, Pittsburgh's first black doctor,  the highest ranking back officer in the Union Army during the Civil War ... and more.  Written by Wali Jamal inspired by the song written by Mike Stout which was based on the book "The Point Of Pittsburgh" by historian and Pitt professor Charlie McCollester.  Performed at the August Wilson Center Downtown.

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4/29/12 Maria's Birthday Party

We won't say what number but I played her Wedding with Kevin 22 years ago.  The party - and me - was a big surprise to her as 50 friends and family members turned up at St. Clair Country Club for a lovely celebration.  Thanks for tracking me down after all these years, Kevin.
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4/28/12 Tim and Andrea's Wedding Reception

The weather did not dampen the spirits of this crowd.  I did Tim's sisters wedding reception two years ago so there were many familiar faces.  Here are some of the musical highlights.
Introduction Music:  "In The Mood" by Doc Severinsen and "Always" by Ella Fitzgerald
Music Toast: "Some Enchanted Evening"
Cake: "How Sweet It Is" by James Taylor
First Dance: "You Are So Beautiful"  Joe Cocker, Luciano Pavarotti, and Alex Britti

Bride and Dad: "I'll Be There" Josh Turner
Groom and Mom: "Everything That Touches You"  The Association
Bride and her Mom: "Mama" Ricky Martin and Luciano Pavarotti
Bouquet Toss: "Doo Wah Diddy" Manfred Mann
Last Songs: "Save The Last Dance For Me" Michael Buble
"The End" Earle Grant
"What A Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong

Special thanks to Joe Mancuso and Linda at The Camelot for their help and hospitality.  Congrats to John of Moods Image Photography on his upcoming wedding.
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4/27 and 4/29/12 Market District

Vive La France !  Accordionist Paul Calise and I - Cafe Duo - played French music in the cafe of the Bethel Park Market District store for a special French-themed promotion.  Merci to Kim at Big Day Entertainment for the gigs. Au revoir.
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4/25/12 NAYDO Convention

Over 1,000 people crowded around food tables filled with international-themed treats for the North American YMCA Development Organization conference at the David Lawrence Convention Center.  My Cafe Trio with Paul Calise on Accordion and Dave Pellow on Bass played French, Italian, American, Spanish, and American favorites to many smiles. Thanks to Talent Network Inc. for setting this up.

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4/25/12 Providence Point

The annual Providence Point Volunteers luncheon was a nice affair.  Thanks to Jessica Corey for the invitation to come back and do it for the second year in a row. I even got a new umbrella for participating.

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