Cullen McCarthy

Rockford jazz band to perform at museum fundraiser

February 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Audiences will be treated to a double barreled musical treat on February 18 when Mark Randisi presents his Big Band “Sound of Sinatra” tribute for the benefit of the new Rockford Area Museum. It has been confirmed that the Rockford High School jazz band will be performing prior to the main show. Beginning at approximately 7:15 p.m. and continuing throughout the audience seating, this group of outstanding young musicians will display the talent that always makes the Rockford jazz band an audience favorite. This band is just one of the many talented groups that contribute to the Rockford band program’s reputation for excellence. Under the direction of Cullen McCarthy, the jazz band can be seen throughout the year performing at community events including performing as the house band for the Annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner/Meeting every January. The group, which is comprised of 19 student musicians from the ninth to 12th grades, will be playing a wide variety of music. Selections will include traditional swing music, Latin jazz and contemporary selections with an emphasis placed on traditional swing music. The jazz band is the second local group participating in the show. The Rockford Community Children’s Choir will join Randisi to recreate a famous Sinatra scene in which “Old Blue Eyes” sang the song “High Hopes” with a group of youngsters. The combination of Randisi’s natural voice and the nationally recognized Johnny Trudell Big Band could make audience members think they are listening to some of Frank Sinatra’s original recordings. Trudell is currently the musical director of Detroit’s Fox Theater. He was also the lead trumpet player for Motown Records, when he recorded with greats such as The Supremes, Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and many others. Randisi has appeared throughout the U.S. and in Europe thrilling audiences with his natural, authentic and respectful presentation of Sinatra’s greatest hits. This promises to be a rare opportunity to enjoy world class entertainment in the comfortable atmosphere of the Rockford High School auditorium, while helping to create a new Rockford Area Museum that will benefit the entire community. Tickets, starting at just $35, are available online at or at the following Rockford area locations: The Rockford Squire, Double Take, Antor Travel, Creative Concepts, Rockford Ambulance, Dish Network on Plainfield […]

NRMS band rocks at state festival

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

North Rockford Middle School’s (NRMS) eighth-grade band took top honors at the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association’s state festival on April 23 at Big Rapids High School. “The kids were amazing,” said NRMS band director Cullen McCarthy. “This is the band’s fourth straight superior Division I rating at a festival. They received superior ratings at both district and state festivals last year in seventh grade, too.” The band received superior Division I ratings across the board from all three concert judges as well as the sight-reading judge. They qualified for the state festival by receiving a superior Division I rating at the district level in February. “The students performed wonderfully and we all had a great time,” said McCarthy. “They are very talented and motivated students and I love working with them.” For more information on NRMS bands please visit

Rockford bands excel once again

March 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Public Schools band program once again proved its prowess by receiving top scores at recent district festivals. The three instrumental ensembles of Rockford High School (RHS)—Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble—participated in the Michigan Schools Band and Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) Band Festival for District 10 at Lowell High School on Friday, Feb. 26. They all received Division I/Superior ratings across the board, the highest achievement possible. The RHS bands are directed by Brian Phillips. East Rockford Middle School (ERMS) and North Rockford Middle School (NRMS) participated in the MSBOA festival at Grandville High School on March 4 and they also excelled. Both ERMS bands, directed by Rebecca Kilgore-Longtin, received Division I ratings. The NRMS Symphonic Band, led by Cullen McCarthy, received a Division I rating for the ninth consecutive year, while the NRMS Concert Band received a very respectable II. The bands all performed three pieces for adjudication, and scores are computed using a formula combining judges’ ratings. “The students worked very hard in representing their community and schools, and the band directors are all extremely proud of their efforts,” said McCarthy. For more information on the Rockford band programs visit