Local musician teaches local residents music, releases CD

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY Joe Kelly is an amazing man. No, he probably could not lift 1000 pounds, nor could he perform amazing acrobatics. But he sure can play a mean guitar. Kelly, who has been teaching music in the Rockford area through various stringed instruments for 40 years, has a passion for the art. “You’re going to get a musical education. But you’re also going to have fun,” Kelly said. Kelly teaches approximately 40 students weekly on the guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, viola, dobro, and pedal steel guitar. Kelly instructs students between the ages of nine to 70 years of age. “I have some students that I call ‘The Grasshopper Project’ after the protégé in the series Kung Fu. These kids really want to learn something,” Kelly said. Kelly notes that some kids come in to “show me what they’ve got” by showing off a little bit. “It’s hard to teach them the basics when they want to go right into the hard stuff.” Kelly believes that his students have to have the knowledge of the chords and the scales. “Notes teach you structure. But the kids want to learn the lics, sound cool in front of their girlfriends,” Kelly said with a smile. Kelly says the easiest person to teach is one that is grounded: has good parental guidance, and has the physical abilities to play the instrument. “Talent means nothing without hard work.” said Kelly. Kelly had a life altering experience in 1985. While driving home at 2:00 a.m. after playing a bar gig, a “drunk” woman crossed the center-line and hit Kelly. After waking up in a hospital room, Kelly said, “the music kept pouring out of me. It’s really exciting! I wake up now, it’s a new day.” One way Kelly gives hope to people is through his new self-titled CD “Joe Kelly, Child of the Mountains.” The difference in my music is the feeling of it. There is so much cynicism nowadays. My music of hope comes from a different place. Kelly became a born-again Christian, and began writing inspirational songs, songs of hope. “I worked at Roger’s Department Store for 15 years before it shut down. I recognize the darkness and the bad economic times. I want people to […]

Join in community music groups!

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

If you’d like to sing in the Rogue River Chorale or perform in the Community Band or Orchestra, we’d love to hear you. The band and orchestra practice Monday nights and the choir practices Thursday nights at 7 p.m. at North Rockford Middle School. Bring your instrument or your voice and join us! For more information, visit or call the Rockford Area Arts Commission at (616) 866-7764.

Rockford Register – March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Thursday, March 19 Spaghetti Dinner & Used Book Sale – 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Lakes Elementary School. Dinner is $5 per person or $25 per family. All books are priced under $1. Saturday, March 21 Rockford 5th Annual Community Expo – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rockford High School, 4300 Kroes, sponsored by Rockford Chamber of Commerce. Over 180 booths on display; entertainment; celebrity emcees; door prizes; “Taste of West Michigan”; four $500 cash giveaways. Free admission and free parking. Free shuttle service is available from Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, 6727 Kuttshill Rd., Rockford, to the high school. St. Patrick’s Day Party – 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rockford American Legion Post 102, hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary. Tickets are $10, which include Irish entertainment, raffle, and dinner of corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread cobbler; available at the Legion bar. Open to the public. Tuesday, March 24 Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. Free Legal Assistance for Seniors – 10 a.m. to noon at the Rockford Ambulance Center in the board room. To schedule your half-hour appointment with Jason Jansma, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Wednesday, March 25 Morning Movies for Seniors – $1 movie at Woodland Mall Celebration Cinema (movie title unavailable at this time). All movies are family-friendly and rated PG-13. Following the movie, enjoy lunch (on your own) at Red Robin. Bus fee: $2. For reservations and bus pick-up times/locations, please call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Thursday, March 26 Rockford Lions Club Meeting – 6 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. “Mission India” will be presented by John Roelse. Business Counseling – Starting a new business or have questions about your existing business? The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) would like to help. SCORE is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is dedicated to helping the small-business community through no-fee mentoring, business counseling and low-cost workshops. A SCORE counselor will be at the Chamber starting at 9 a.m. Please call the Chamber at […]

Another Beauty and the Beast Related Event

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford High School Fine Arts Department is presenting a unique and exciting addition to its musical “Beauty and the Beast.” All ladies and gentlemen from the ages of 3 to 12 are invited to “Tea with Belle & Friends”. On March 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the RHS cafeteria, your child can meet the characters from this wonderful Disney musical. There will be games and crafts where your child will make a magic mirror or frame and a rose they can take home to remember their time in make-believe. Bring your own camera and take all the pictures you would like! Refreshments will include desserts, punch, and of course Mrs. Pott’s famous tea! Tickets are $10.00 per child for the first two siblings and $5.00 for each one after the first two. Accompanying adult is free. For tickets visit Print the form and mail as directed. Tickets to the “Tea” do not include or guarantee tickets to the musical. Tickets must be ordered by March 17, 2009. Escape with your family into a world of music, magic, and dreams!

Rockford Register – March 12, 2009

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

Thursday, March 12 Rockford Lions Club Meeting – 6 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe, Rockford – Spouses Night. Dr. Michael Shibler, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, will be speaking about RAM Goals for 2009-2010. March 13 – 14 Friday & Saturday “Contents Under Pressure” Comedy Improv Team – 7 p.m. at Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th Street SW, Grand Rapids. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit or call (616) 455-1001. Saturday, March 14 4th Annual Rockford Girl Scouts Daddy/Daughter Cake Auction – 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Family Center. Open to all registered Rockford Girl Scouts and their families. Auction at 2:15 p.m. For more information, contact Kelly McLellan at or (616) 863-0350. All proceeds to benefit the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore Financial Assistance Fund. Annual Community Irish Stew Dinner – 4:30 – 7 p.m. at Bostwick Lake Congregational Church, 7979 Belding Road. Cost is $7 for adults, $4 for children – – 12, and free for children 4 and under. Macaroni and cheese available for children. For ticket information, call (616) 874-6607. Sunday, March 15 Roast Beef Dinner – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rockford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 4195 Thirteen Mile Road, Rockford. Cost is $8 for adults, and $3.50 for children under age 12. Enjoy all-you-can-eat roast beef, potatoes, corn, beans, roll, dessert and beverage. Bring your papers for recycling! “Best dinner in town… Bring the whole family!” Visit Metropolitan Choir of Praise – 6 p.m. at Blythefield Christian Reformed Church, 6350 Kuttshill Drive NE, Rockford, for a special area-wide worship hour including a meditation based on Psalm 18 entitled, “A Psalm Suited for Our Evening.” Nursery available. A fellowship hour with refreshments will follow. Everyone is invited. Miss Sunburst Model Search & Baby Contest – Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville. Entries accepted now. Winners go to state finals in May. Everyone receives a trophy. Baby pageant is for boys and girls ages up to 3. Model search is for girls ages 4 to 27. Entry forms available at the mall and, or call pageant headquarters at (813) 839-8054. Monday, March 16 Free Food for Needy Families – 5 p.m. in the Mobile Food Pantry at St. […]

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