Studio D2D

Rock the Dam kickoff a rocking hit despite heat

July 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

Studio D2D brings music festival/band concert to downtown by BETH ALTENA “I was really impressed with the youth bands. They seemed to like each other and support each other,” said Dan DeWard of Studio D2D in Rockford, who brings downtown another annual event to anticipate in Rock the Dam battle of the bands. The new event had its first three days of free music in the beautiful setting of Garden Club Park on the banks of the Rogue River on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 20-22. Despite breathtaking heat Wednesday and Thursday, the new music event had good turnout and everyone enjoyed the talent and the setting. DeWard said although the event is a contest, the youth performers cheered each other on, applauded and danced during their competitors’ performances. “It felt like a music festival,” DeWard described. DeWard said his panel of four judges took into consideration aspects of the performances of each of the youth portion of the competition, from stage presence, interaction with the crowd and each other, preparedness and organization, among other elements of their performance. A video clip on the Rock the Dam website announces the winners of the youth band for the first session of the battle. DeWard, who is used to organizing weddings and other events as part of his job at Studio D2D, had promised the City of Rockford that the competition would run smoothly and it did. Bands had a tent in which to prepare and solo singers filled the time between performances so the crowd enjoyed a steady stream of musical entertainment. Drawing talent from across West Michigan, nine youth and 18 adult bands from Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs, Greenville, Montcalm County, Kentwood and Lansing have performed (and will perform during upcoming days) a variety of musical styles. DeWard said bands were prescreened for appropriate content, but also for variety. “We wanted to keep it interesting. We didn’t want to be restrictive.” He said styles of rock varied from classic, pop, alternative, country and heavy rock. “We didn’t want anyone to get bored,” he said. The band competition continues August 3, 4 and 5 with music beginning at 5:30 p.m. each of the three days. Each of the upcoming bands are part of the adult division […]

StayCation offers plenty of reasons not to leave town

April 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Women just back from spring break vacation now have plenty of reasons to stick around town, at least on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16. If you are one of the out-of-towners who frequent the downtown shopping district, this is a great time to spend a few days here as well. The Heart of Rockford Business Association again this year is offering a Girlfriends StayCation with plenty of special offers and events. The StayCation kicks off April 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues April 16 during regular business hours. In addition to specials designed to spoil and pamper, one lucky winner will receive a Best of Rockford prize package plush with gift certificates, gifts, movie passes and more. According to organizer Christine Gault of A Charmed Life Nail Salon, the event is designed to highlight the many goods and services our little town has to offer. “This is a time of year when there isn’t a lot happening usually, but the weather is changing and it’s a great time for women to get out and celebrate that spring is coming,” Gault said. This is the event’s second year and last year resulted in a great turnout. With even more downtown shops participating, this year’s StayCation is even more exciting. Visitors to A Charmed Life Nail Salon can enjoy a free five-minute chair massage with the purchase of any service from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, a free hand paraffin with any specialty manicure, pedicure or shellac manicure. In addition the first 10 appointments booked will receive a Heart of Rockford shopping bag for future savings in downtown Rockford. At Baskets in the Belfry, enjoy 20% off your entire purchase and food-tastings (some exclusions may apply). On Saturday at 1 p.m. there will be a free demonstration on hand-tied bouquets at Rockford Flower Shop. At Great Northern Trading Company, join in their celebration of 34 years of serving Rockford and beyond. Everyone who enters the store will be allowed to choose a candy bar with a discount hidden under the label, ranging from 20 to 50 percent off the entire purchase. Dars Gems and Jewelry is offering 20 percent off one item and many in-store specials. […]

Rock the Dam concert series approved

March 31, 2011 // 0 Comments

Youth, adult battle of the bands to begin in July by BETH ALTENA Rockford City Council unanimously approved a new music event to debut this summer. Dan DeWard of Studio D2D received a warm reception to his idea for a battle of the bands to take place downtown Rockford beginning in July. Rock the Dam will be a youth and adult band competition with cash prizes culminating in finals on August 11. DeWard said he planned the event to follow the end of the blues concert series and will start the youth competition at Garden Club Park at the dam. The youth and adult finals will likely take place at North Rockford Middle School, the soccer stadium, or possibly the high school, where larger crowds can be accommodated. DeWard said he believes the series will be a nice addition to downtown events and he is working with the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC) and local businesses on the project. “I want to emphasize this will not be a free-for-all,” DeWard told council during the regular meeting on Monday, March 14. He said he is experienced at event planning, and the resources of his studio dovetail perfectly with the event. RAAC volunteers will help with the organization. DeWard said he plans to limit the competition to 12 youth and 12 adult bands, and screen them prior to acceptance to make sure they are appropriate for a family audience. Sales of t-shirts in several styles, along with sponsorship of local businesses, will generate money to offer as prizes. Studio D2D will provide deejays, sound equipment and the photo booth free of charge just to add to the overall fun of the series. Each night, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, July 20-22, four youth bands, ages 18 and under, will perform from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Each night, Wednesday through Friday, August 3-5, four adult bands, ages 19 and over, will perform from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The top three bands per category will advance to the finals. All six finalists will perform Thursday, August 11 in the evening. Prize money will go to the top bands in each category. The public will even have their chance to vote for their favorite bands from video footage uploaded to Facebook […]

Studio D2D offers more than photographic memories

June 3, 2010 // 0 Comments

Dan and Amanda DeWard have been shooting photos professionally together for years, and are now open for business in downtown Rockford. Studio D2D is located at 25 Squires Street in the space that was formerly Merle Norman and Accessories Ltd, and prior to that was a bridal store and for many years home to Aunt Candy’s Toy Company. “We’ve been looking for a location in Rockford for a couple of years,” Dan DeWard confided. He said many spots have come available, but none of them struck him as just what he was looking for. Now, with a prime location with the dam and the White Pine Trail just out of the back door, Studio D2D has found a home. Studio D2D has been in business since February 1997, and DeWard said the pair already do a lot of business in Rockford. Previously the studio has had locations in Grand Rapids and Comstock Park. The couple have long been fans of Rockford’s downtown. “We love the feel of downtown Rockford and the trendy boutique style of the shops,” DeWard said. “There are so many wonderful places to shoot outdoor photos. We felt it would be perfect for our unique style of photography.” Dan and Amanda are joined in business by Studio D2D staff, including Nicole VanderZyl, Rich Kotarba, Natalia McDonald, Stephanie Larson, Emily Plants, Eric Smith, Nick Plunkett, Addam Clack and Mike Baribeau. “Our photographers have had many years of experience, including educational classes at Kendal College of Art and Design,” DeWard stated. “Our Disc jockeys have over ten yeas of experience and our videographers more than 20 years experience. DeWard say he and his wife are the lead designers of the business. Dan, Rich and Nicole are the main photographers for weddings and Natalia, Stephanie and Emily are also photographers. “Each one also photographs families, seniors and babies,” DeWard explained. Eric, Nick and Addam are the studio’s disc jockeys and run the photo booth at events. Mike is the main videographer and Andrea is the studio manager. DeWard described the business atmosphere as relaxed, fun, trendy and creative. He said he likes to sit down with clients before a photo shoot and learn their style and what they are looking for. “We absolutely love what […]

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