Sound of Sinatra


February 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

Organizer praises Hill article Dear Editor, Please pass this on to Cliff and Nancy Hill. They are to be applauded for this week’s G-R-E-A-T article supporting the Historical Society and the New museum fund drive. I have read it twice and all I can say is “WOW!” The tone of the article went straight to the heart of the attitudes that make Rockford the terrific place that it is, and to the reasons everyone in the area should be proud to help out. More important than capturing the essence of what the museum project is all about, it included an impassioned call to action that I’m sure will cause many people to get their checkbooks out in support of this worthwhile cause. I am a newcomer to the Historical Society, but I have been as active as I could be and am proud to do so.  In the short time I have been involved, I have seen a lot of activity and  have been impressed by the people who have been so effective in preserving our history despite difficult conditions and relative lack of interest on the part of most area residents. I am amazed by the hard work that Terry Konkle does as the Society’s President, and Paul Krupp’s efforts as the head of the fund raising committee.  Sometimes I feel like I am busy with the Sound of Sinatra show, but I feel like an incredible loafer when I compare myself to either of them. I have to say, however, that I honestly feel that Cliff and Nancy’s article may have done more than any other single thing I have seen, or anything I may have done, to “rally the troops” in support of the new museum. Please congratulate, (and thank,) them for me. Now, if, in the next 16 days, I could find as effective a way to encourage people to buy show tickets, I’d be a very happy camper. Al Pratt Sound of Sinatra organizor  PS:  You deserve kudos as well. We wouldn’t be making the progress we are without the Squire’s strong support. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Editor’s Note: For readers who may have missed Cliff and Nancy’s article on the Rockford Area Historical Society and their efforts […]

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 […]

Museum fundraiser just keeps getting better

January 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

Featuring Mark Randisi and the famous Johnny Trudell Big Band being joined on stage by a local group to recreate a famous Frank Sinatra scene, “Sound of Sinatra” will be presented by the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Rockford High School Fine Arts Auditorium. The scene features Sinatra singing the song “High Hopes” with a group of youngsters. In the February 18 show, that song will be sung by Randisi and the Rockford Community Children’s Choir. Many area residents are familiar with the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) that supports a variety of area events such as the annual Ice Festival and Art in the Park, as well as performance groups including the Rockford Community Band, Rockford Community Orchestra, and Rockford Community Choir. The Rockford Community Children’s Choir (RC3) is the latest ensemble to collaborate with the RAAC. RC3 was formed in September 2011, by Renee Vande Wege, a local resident with strong credentials as both a vocalist and music teacher. Vande Wege has earned a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Hope College and a master’s degree in music education from Michigan State University. She is also certified in music learning theory. She has worked with elementary musicians and private voice students in Rockford, Cedar Springs and Grand Rapids. Vande Wege has also been a member of the Opera Grand Rapids chorus since 2001. Having been a member of the Rockford Community Choir for six years, Vande Wege now serves as that group’s director. She was motivated to form RC3 by her strong desire to provide area youngsters with the opportunity to develop their musicianship and sing with other children. She believes that, except through the efforts of a handful of dedicated churches in the area, those opportunities are too limited, especially with the current school music program reductions due to budget constraints. In 2012, RC3 will become more visible in the area as they perform in a variety of events including the “Sound of Sinatra” show for the Rockford Area Museum, the RAAC Spring Concert on April 15, and likely Rockford’s Community EXPO on March 17. The second session for RC3 begins on January 10, 2012. Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 […]

Nationally recognized band coming to Rockford

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Band to accompany Mark Randisi, the ‘Sound of Sinatra’ Johnny Trudell is regarded as one of today’s finest trumpet players and is the respected director of the Johnny Trudell Orchestra/Big Band. He has performed with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Tex Beneke, and Quincy Jones. He has also served as lead trumpet player for Motown Records, recording with such greats as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. Trudell is the music director for Detroit’s Fox Theater and his famed orchestra has backed the legendary Bob Hope, Wayne Newton, Tony Bennett, Johnny Carson, Red Skelton, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bill Cosby. They have also played for various Broadway shows including Evita, Gypsy, The King and I, Fiddler On The Roof, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, and many others. Trudell also serves as music director of The Gem Theatre and the Meadow Brook Music Festival, and now… he is bringing his band to Rockford! This event is a rare Rockford opportunity for an evening of vocal and instrumental music that you won’t want to miss. Close your eyes or turn your head. You’ll hear a great band and a familiar voice, but it won’t be “Old Blue Eyes.” It will be Mark Randisi, presenting Sinatra classics naturally, authentically, respectfully and reminiscent of the originals, just the way you want to hear them. Author, radio and television host Mitch Album has been to Randisi’s shows, and proclaimed, “Mark’s show is a must-attend!” Lee Thomas of Detroit’s Fox 2 Entertainment stated, “Mark Randisi is a first rate act all the way.” The Saturday, Feb. 18 performance is a fundraising event for the Rockford Area Historical Society. Tickets, starting at just $35, make a great gift and are available in time for Christmas. For more information, visit the show’s website at Tickets can be bought there with a debit or credit card. Tickets are also available by cash or check at these area locations: The Rockford Squire, Antor Travel, Double Take, Creative Concepts, Rockford Ambulance, Courtland Township Offices, Algoma Township Offices, and Dish Network (Plainfield, south of 5 Mile). Limited handicapped and limited-mobility seats are available by calling (616) 350-3959.

Sound of Sinatra coming to Rockford

December 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

Tickets for February concert would make great gift  Get your tickets to a great show early and help bring a first-class new historical museum to Rockford. The Sound of Sinatra is an event that will bring back great memories and win new fans as singer Mark Randisi brings big band instrumentals along with his own”Sound of Sinatra” to the Rockford High School Stage. Tickets would make great gifts for Christmas. Randisi’s most popular shows are those that he performs with the backing of his stage band that, combined with his natural voice, is very reminiscent of many of Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits. The event will take place one night only on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. at the Rockford High School auditorium. Randis was “discovered” while singing Sinatra songs at a Detroit area karaoke club after a hard day working in his family’s painting business.  Joe Vicari, owner of the Andiamo’s restaurant chain heard him that night and hired him to sing in his clubs Randis quickly became one of the Midwest’s most popular club performers, constantly refining his art until he found himself performing in some of the world’s finest venues and with the world’s best musicians and most famous entertainers. As Casey Kasem would say, Mark “put down his paint brush and picked up a microphone.” He is still a featured headliner, along with Regis Philbin, Tom Jones, Howie Mandel, Natalie Cole, Paul Anka, Gladys Knight, The Beach Boys, and others at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom Concert Series. His annual Sinatra Tribute Show on or near May 14—the date of Frank Sinatra’s death in 1998—regularly sells out. That is the show he is bringing to Rockford. Randis always delivers a heartfelt performance that captures the essence of Sinatra’s voice, music, and unparalleled style.  He captivates audiences of all ages. When world famous tenor, Andrea Bocelli first heard Mark Randisi sing, he thought he was listening to a Sinatra recording. That is a common response, but Randis is modest.  “I’m always flattered when people say I sound like Frank Sinatra. I developed a love for the music and I respect the people who created it. However, I am just being myself.” A Mark Randisi show is an incredible tribute to the classics, not an imitation. He does not […]