fbq('track', 'ViewContent');

Viewing: Lehigh Valley - View all posts

We're just looking for some Tush  Podcast

It's our craziest time of the year! Summer for Sunshine Symphony involves playing tons of community events, festivals, and weddings in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia areas. This summer is no exception! We've managed to cram another special event into our schedule this week.

Tonight, we head to Toll Man Joe's bar in South Philadelphia to compete in the WMGK House Band competition. If you're not familiar with WMGK, it's a classic rock radio station out of Philadelphia. Many of the DJs have been on the air for multiple decades. In fact, morning show host John DeBella was one of the DJs I listened to that inspired me to get into radio. In any case - this is huge and legendary for me personally, that we could be the house band for a radio station I've been listening to for a long time. 

We are required to play a 25-minute set of classic rock tunes, and one of them must be Tush, the 70s song by ZZ Top. We don't play a whole lot of blues tunes (we tend toward pop and 80s stuff), but boy, was this song fun to learn (and easy - it's only 2 minutes long!).  We were racking our brains trying to think of ways to make our version accurate but different, and we decided to play up Ricky's experience on blues harmonica. He does a killer solo that fits right into the feel of the song.

Listen to our version from rehearsal and let us know what you think! 

UPDATE: Well, we didn't win the semi-final round, but put on a performance to be proud of. Congrats to the guys in The Mad Trio, who move on to the finals. They were a 3-piece rock group that made a lot of noise! Also, fun to see Raised on Radio, and Retro 45. Some killer pipes and musicianship among all the bands.

Election Day 

We're up for a "Lehigh Valley Happening" award again this year. We've been finalists for the last two years, so it would be awesome if you could take a minute and vote for us. We are up for an award in TWO categories this year:

Musician or Band
Entertainer

You can vote here:

http://lehigh.happeningmag.com/happeninglist/musician-or-band-2016/ and

http://lehigh.happeningmag.com/happeninglist/entertainer-2016/

Thanks so much for supporting us!

Special Musikfest Double-Header 

We are thrilled to announce that we will be performing at Musikfest's Preview Night, Thursday, August 6th at Levitt Pavilion at Steel Stacks!

Musikfest has added 80s-rockers Duran Duran (one of Christine's FAVORITE bands as a youngster) on Sands Steel Stage, so we are thrilled to get you Duranies warmed up just "next door" at Levitt Pavilion.

Here's the schedule of events for Preview Night August 6th:

5 p.m. - Sunshine Symphony on stage -
7 p.m. - M80 on stage - TD Bank AmericaPlatz - Levitt Pavilion at SteelStacks
8:30 p.m. - Duran Duran at Sands Steel Stage

Don't forget - we'll also be at TD Bank AmericaPlatz/Levitt Pavilion at Steel Stacks on Musikfest's Opening Night - Friday, August 7th starting at 7:30 p.m. for a free show.

What IS Musikfest, you ask? Well, it's just one of our humble little city's shining moments - a 10-day arts and culture festival featuring free outdoor concerts (and only a few that are NOT free), food and crafts. It's one reason I moved to Bethlehem! It's a lot of fun and a little crazy and despite the occasional parking woes, it brings a great deal of income and recognition to Bethlehem. We're so thrilled to be a part of the festival, which is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year.

Here are some informational links about Musikfest:
Directions and Parking
Festival Map - our performances are on the "South Side"
Musikfest FAQs

Hope to see you there!
Peace, Love & Rock n Roll,
Christine

Happy 2015! 

Sunshine Symphony, 1/9/15 - Thanks to Andy Sawran for the photo.



Happy 2015 to our new fans and our fans from the very beginning! We are overjoyed that 2014 was so successful.

We booked lots of new venues! We met so many great people and got to celebrate with our wonderful new friends and fans at their happy occasions.  We'll be making our debut at Club Gravity at Chicago's Restaurant (previously Mezza Luna in Allentown). We're excited to be playing for the members of the Fullerton Fire Company in May, and playing more shows at the Coplay Saengerbund this year.  Also, we hope to soon add a few dates at the Parx Casino in Philadelphia. Several weddings are already booked here and in Philadelphia and there are a few more in the works.

We're working on new music! At rehearsal on Monday, we worked on 5 new songs that we'll be adding to upcoming sets and probably a few more in the next few weeks before we start getting ready for "wedding season". The result of our 2014 Music Poll showed the MOST votes for the Luke Bryan song "Play it Again" - so we may be adding that to our set soon.  Other high-ranked songs from our poll: "Happy" from Pharrell Williams, "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea (I am not fantastic at rapping, but I'd try it),  "Rude" by Magic (already in our set list!) and "All of Me" by John Legend.

I'm currently obsessed with Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" song and can't seem to get that out of my head...we may have to add that one as well.

What would you like to see from us in 2015? More videos? Where would you like to see us play? Let us know in the comments, and we'll do our best to make it happen. Happy New Year - hope it's a great one for you, too!

Peace, Love & Rock n' Roll,
Christine Bainbridge, Sunshine Symphony
 

Welcome Kyle Campbell 

Sunshine Symphony is excited to announce the addition of guitarist/vocalist Kyle Campbell to the band. Kyle is a native of Nazareth, PA, where he played with local band original/cover band Project 67 and won two WZZO Backyard Bands competitions. 

Interestingly enough, Ricky and Kyle have many mutual musical friends and have almost crossed paths in the past.  They realized this after Kyle agreed to join the band and they started determining whether they had jammed together previously.

Kyle's been involved in many different projects over the year, including writing and recording original music as a solo artist. He is releasing his solo album "Sunday's Best" in mid-January.

We think Kyle is a nice guy, with a great sense of humor, serious guitar skills, and may now be the most stylish member of the band. Kyle and his wife Teara live in Manayunk, but have family up here that you'll probably see at some of our local gigs. You may even see a bit of Sunshine down in the Philly soon, too.

 

Summer Weddings! 


Congratulations to Lauren and Adam, whose wedding we played last weekend at Riverview Country Club.  What a beautiful location! Riverview is definitely a scenic location for a wedding ceremony and reception.  As we performed at the ceremony, and reception, we got an up-close glimpse at all the details that make Riverview a great location for both ceremonies and receptions.

Riverview's reception location is called "Villa on the Green" - it's a round room with windows all around overlooking the golf course, which is beautiful landscaped. As soon as you walk in, you see a huge, dramatic stone fireplace goes perfectly with the natural wood beams inside and view of the rolling hills of the course.  Lauren's theme of navy blue and sunflower gold perfectly accented the space and lent a summery look to the room.

The ceremony location is behind Villa on the Green. As you can see in the picture above, a long wooden boardwalk with past the pond leads to a rustic wooden gazebo. A natural hill overlooks the gazebo, so all of your wedding guests will have a great view of the proceedings. We set up at the end of the boardwalk, where Ricky and I performed acoustic songs while the guests were being seated, and then, once the bridal party was ready, started playing Sara Bareilles's song "I Choose You."

One advantage to having professional musicians perform at your wedding is our ability to customize your entrance song "on the fly." Since Riverview's boardwalk aisle is quite long, if we had played a recorded version of "I Choose You," we would have been three whole minutes short by the time Lauren got to the end of the aisle. So, we added an instrumental break, and two extra choruses to make sure that as soon as Lauren set foot at the altar, the song concluded - but she still got to hear a good bit of her selected song.  We received one of the nicest compliments ever, when Lauren and Adam told us afterwards that they felt like they were in a movie, with the way the music was perfectly timed.

We then took care of introducing Lauren and Adam's bridal party and getting the reception going inside the beautiful Villa on the Green.  The benefit of having a live band is we were able to introduce the bridal party and then Lauren and Adam in between choruses of "Best Day of My Life," by American Authors.  We then performed the couple's first dance to Blake Shelton's song "God Gave Me You," a Father/Daughter dance to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts, and Adam and his Mom danced to "100 Years" by Five for Fighting, all performed live by Sunshine Symphony.

At the end of the night, after getting the whole room onto the dance floor with "Shout", and hearing everyone singing along to "Don't Stop Believing", we received the ultimate compliment from our couple: "That was EXACTLY what we wanted!" Thanks again to Lauren and Adam for choosing Sunshine Symphony for your wedding. We always aim to deliver total satisfaction!

We'll be appearing at the Summer Engagement Bash Bridal Show on July 13th from 12-3. If you're thinking about a band at your wedding, stop by and see us - we'll be there to answer questions and show you some footage from shows and weddings we've performed at. Get free tickets (free for brides, $5 for guests) here:
http://bridalexpopa.ticketleap.com/pennsylvania-bridal-expo-presents-a-summer-engagement-bash-at-g/
 

How We Made a Pop-Punk Song into a First Dance  Podcast


We had a great time at Evan and Ciara's wedding last night at The Eastonian (Kunkle Drive in Easton/Palmer Township, PA).  It's really enjoyable meeting couples getting married and hearing their thoughts on their music for their big day - it's such a huge part of people's memories that we realize the importance of our job when we're hired for a wedding.

Typically, we'll learn songs for the couple if we don't already know their "first dance" songs, or learn other songs that the couple really wants to hear during their reception.

Ricky's going to kill me for mentioning it, but he's a huge fan of Wilson Phillips. As am I - I totally wore out my cassette.  Their song "Hold On" recently came back into the public's collective consciousness after the song was featured in the hit movie, "Bridesmaids." When Ciara mentioned she's a huge fan of the movie and wanted us to learn "Hold On" for their reception,  we were openly excited. Harmonies! That's one of our specialties.

In addition to that, Evan and Ciara were fans of the Ataris, a pop-punk band known for their cover of the Don Henley song "Boys of Summer" a few years back. They asked for us to put together an acoustic version of the song "I.O.U. One Galaxy." Normally, it's a faster-paced rock tune. Ricky and I worked out an arrangement where we alternated lines and added harmonies to make a slow-danceable song for Evan and Ciara's first dance.  We knew we hit the mark when we saw the two dancing, totally absorbed and enjoying the moment.  That's probably our favorite part of being a wedding band - helping to create the special moments that people remember forever.

At the bride and groom's request, we'll record a version in the studio that they can keep forever to remember the moment (and our arrangement). That's a unique service that we can offer to our wedding clients that doesn't cost a dime  - we enjoy the creative process and the challenge of arranging a song to capture our brides' and grooms' visions. 

Have a wedding coming up? Have some creative requests or dreams for your special event? Contact us. We can help make those dreams a musical reality.

Peace, Love & Rock 'n Roll,
Christine

You've Got Class! 

Thanks to Pius X Class of 1974 and Dunmore HS Class of 1989 who just booked Sunshine Symphony for their class reunions!  We hope this is a trend that's continuing.  

We love the idea of bringing a live band to a reunion - there's no better icebreaker than getting everyone on the dance floor with a nostalgic song from your high school years. We always like to go the extra mile when it comes to keeping our clients happy, and we enjoy learning new songs to enhance the event. One of the most fun parts of our job is looking at the Billboard charts for the top hits of that year, and deciding which ones we think will go over well with our audience.

Cara booked us for her class's 25th high school reunion after seeing us perform at Bar Louie in Wilkes Barre. She really enjoyed our variety of music.  1989 was the year of power ballads, including songs from hair bands like Skid Row, and pop/rock bands like Bon Jovi and Poison. Since we grew up loving late 80s music, we're not too proud to admit we already know some of the big hits of 1989, like "When I See You Smile" (Bad English) and "Lost in Your Eyes" (Debbie Gibson). We may have to break a few of those out for slow dances at the reunion.

The Sunshine Symphony duo of Ricky Bell and Ian Frey will be playing the Pius X Class of 1974 reunion at Northampton Country Club. Great songs abounded in 1974 as well - an era that included disco, soft rock and plain old rock n roll! Top hits in 1974 included "Jungle Boogie" by Kool and the Gang, "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band and "Sunshine on my Shoulders" by John Denver.  

Interestingly enough, there was one song that was a Top 100 hit in BOTH 1974 and 1989, can you guess what it was?
"Rock On' - recorded by David Essex in 1974 and Michael Damien in 1989. So if we learn that one song, we're covered at both reunions!

If you're planning a party, wedding, or class reunion, consider live entertainment to make it a party that no one will ever forget!  Ask Sunshine Symphony about performance options - we can perform as a full band, as a duo or a trio to deliver live music at an affordable price.

 

New videos! 

Hey, everyone! It's finally spring - we think, anyway.  We are getting ready to play some epic outdoor shows all over the Lehigh Valley - from Allentown, Bethlehem to Easton, we'll be entertaining the outdoor masses.

More and more people are hearing about Sunshine Symphony, and our Facebook page likes are growing every day.  We make videos each time we hit a milestone, so, here are two we made for the milestone of hitting 600 likes (at the time I'm writing this, we are edging ever closer to 700...better get ready with our next one).

You can help us grow our fan base two ways:

1) Go to Sunshine Symphony's Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/sunshinesymphony and on the right hand side under our cover photo and top banner, you'll see a box that says "Invite Friends" - if you think your friends would like us, please invite them.

2) Also, you can like, comment on and share our videos. The more likes and shares we get, the more we appear in our fans' NewsFeeds.

Enjoy our videos and thanks for getting us to 600 Likes!

Sunshine Symphony Avicii Cover - Wake Me Up



Sunshine Symphony - Paramore Cover - Ain't It Fun


Peace, Love & Rock n Roll,
Christine Bainbridge, Sunshine Symphony

What's Happening? We're Happening! 

Hey, happy April to our Symphomaniacs out there.  We are so excited that the awards and accolades for Sunshine Symphony keep on coming!  We found out a couple of days ago that we were named Finalists in the Lehigh Valley Happening List.  Thanks to everyone that voted, and thanks for spreading the word about Sunshine Symphony!

We really think 2014 is going to be an amazing year - we're riding on those rays of sunshine and spreading the positivity everywhere we go. In the past couple of weeks, we've been booking, booking, booking, and taking some new group shots (hey, did you see our new banner up there at the top of the page? Isn't it awesome?), We'll post them around the website, so click around and see if you can find them.

Last but not least,  if you want a little sunshine in your life, stop by one of our shows and we'll give you a new Sunshine Symphony sticker.
We've been busy! Let's keep the buzz going! Like us on Facebook, add us to your Circles in Google +, share our videos or blog posts or pictures! Thanks, fans!

Peace, Love & Rock n Roll,
Christine Bainbridge, Sunshine Symphony