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We're just looking for some Tush  

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.

Don't Stop Believin'! 

We were so honored to provide entertainment for local radio station 100.7 WLEV's Little Pink Dress Party. The annual event brings together breast cancer survivors, friends and family, local organizations and businesses and this year benefited "Breast Friends of PA" and "Womens 5K Classic", two local support organizations.  

I've been performing for many years, and in all my years, I've never seen something as cool as this: a Flash Mob dance reminiscent of a music video, breaking out on the dance floor just in front of the stage.  Watch video evidence here!




Thanks to all the sponsors: Toyota, Morris Black Designs DeSales University Nursing, Sorelli Jewelry, State Theatre, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Ideal Image, A&A Limo, Metro Design Center, Cooper Electric, Richard Kroll, Meera Salon & Day Spa, Massage Envy, Eight Oaks Distillery, Rockin' Remaley Photo Booth
Find out more about: Breast Friends of PA, Womens 5K Classic

Running Down a Dream 

We were so beyond thrilled to team up with Runner's World Magazine again and perform at the Half Marathon Festival this past weekend in Bethlehem. This is the 5th year of the festival, and it brings thousands to our fair town to run through our beautiful, hilly historic city streets.  Both Ricky and I are runners - and we enjoy participating in races to keep us feeling physically fit!

This year, we ran the 10k (and purposefully parked over a mile from the race start so we could get 2 extra miles in as part of our Half Marathon training plan).


The weather was spectacular all weekend long, and especially so for the long half marathon race on Sunday.
We had to be at SteelStacks, our beautiful arts facility on the south side of Bethlehem, bright and early at 7 am before the streets closed for the race. 

That allowed us extra time to set up and sound check in a very leisurely fashion, which was nice. We thoroughly enjoy performing on the Levitt Pavilion stage. The sound is phenomenal, the crew is great, and the space is gorgeous. 

We played our typical mix of current dance songs, threw in a bunch of 80s and 90s songs, too, for good measure and enjoyed watching the recovering runners dance and sing along as they ventured over to the beer garden post-race.

Congratulations to all of the runners who came from near and far to enjoy the Runner's World events!

We'll be back to play inside the ArtsQuest facility, at Musikfest Cafe for local radio station WLEV's Little Pink Dress Party benefitting breast cancer charities.

-Christine Bainbridge, Sunshine Symphony
 

Hot Time, Summer in the City 

Hi Symphomaniacs - we can't believe Musikfest has come and gone, with another performance in the books. Record heat, thunderstorms and lightning WOULD have cancelled our show if we were outside this year - we're thankful that our performance in Musikfest Cafe went on as planned to a full house!

Our friend and photographer Kenn Miller took some awesome shots of our performance, which I'm proud to share with you here.


The month of August is crazy busy with three weddings and several other shows, including our debut at West Deptford, NJ's RiverWinds summer concert series.

Hope you're staying cool! Thanks for coming out to our shows this summer!

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!

Fall Weddings are Here! 

We had such a great experience at Musikfest. Did you see our write-ups here and here? We had such a great time on stage and backstage. 

Sunshine Symphony rocked Rachel & Greg's receptionWe kicked off our fall wedding season with Rachel and Greg's wedding on August 29th in Philadelphia at the Sheraton University City. The staff down there was 
fabulous, and they decorated the hotel ballroom beautifully and totally transformed it!

Then, just this past weekend, on September 26th, we were thrilled to participate in Beki & Jake's wedding at The Country Garden in Lehigh Township. Jake's Mom did an amazing job decorating the facility, and Beki had friends make her cake (which was lovely and delicious), plus homemade pie and lots of delicious treats. We have three more weddings coming up in the next two weeks and we've got several weddings booked for 2016 already!

Rachel & Greg's Wedding

Beki & Jake's Cake

Beki & Jake's Cake

Falling for You 

We've had such a great couple of months! Thanks for coming out to see our summer shows at Tunes at Twilight, Musikfest and Live at Riverside Park. Check out our silly video clip of what "backstage" at Levitt Pavilion looks like.

It's fall wedding season, and we're getting ready to entertain the guests at four weddings in the next four weeks.

We were super excited when Lehigh Valley Academy asked us to perform for their fundraiser on Friday, October 16th at Martin Guitar, the awesome guitar factory right in our backyard in Nazareth, PA. The Sunshine Symphony trio of Tim, Ricky and Christine will be performing.

Also, we're very excited to announce the full band will be back at the Levitt Pavilion stage on Sunday, October 18th for the Runner's World Half Marathon Festival. 

Some other big announcements are coming up later in the month - stay tuned!


 

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

Endless Summer Nights! 

We've had an exciting month here in the 'Symphony, with news about two summertime shows that made us practically radiate happiness. 

Tunes at Twilight, in our humble opinion, is one of the best events that the Downtown Bethlehem Association hosts every year.  Set up in the beautiful and shaded Sun Inn Courtyard in Downtown Bethlehem, this easily accessible small park seats hundreds, and makes for a lively place for a free concert. Surrounded by Bethlehem's downtown restaurants, breweries, wineries and more, there are great places to dine before-hand or afterwards, or, enjoy food and drink from the Tunes Bar, which serves wine and beer, often regional offerings.  They've extended the concert series this year through July, which gives you more chances to enjoy a warm summer evening.  Sunshine Symphony will be there on July 2nd. We're looking forward to our 2nd year at this event.


Musikfest is Bethlehem's signature musical event, and it's been going on for 30 years now! Imagine an entire town turned into outdoor music venues for free concerts of all genres!  Plus, the event features every portable culinary delight you can think of. Pickle on a stick? Yep. Barbecued meat skewer? Yes. Vegan taco? Sure. Totally my idea of heaven. The event brings thousands of visitors to town (and the boost to the local economy is noticeable), but it also makes me personally happy that I live in a place that so celebrates music.  Come see us at Levitt Pavilion on the South Side of Bethlehem (right in front of Steelstacks), the opening night of Muskiest, Friday, August 7th at 7:30.

Check our schedule for ALL of our upcoming shows.

See you out and about this summer!
Peace, Love & Rock n' Roll,

Christine Bainbridge, Sunshine Symphony

Don't Stop Believing! 

Christine faces her radiation treatment.It was December 5, 2014, when I got the call that changed my life. I had gone for a routine mammogram, which led to an ultrasound and then a biopsy, after which the doctor said, "it's better that you know than don't know." With no family history of breast cancer, and leading a relatively active and healthy lifestyle, here I was, suddenly a cancer patient.

The first thing I thought was, "How am I going to fit this into my schedule?"  I work full-time, I help my boyfriend and band-mate Ricky Bell raise his two little girls, and we have the band, of course, which has become a very busy enterprise. Not to mention, we have two households and the stuff that comes with them.  All are important to me for different reasons.

The whirlwind began, and suddenly I held a dozen appointment cards in my hand for surgical consults, pre-op appointments, blood tests, radiation and medical oncologists. Ricky coined "Team CB" - the name of my support group of family and friends to get me through this ordeal. Surgery was first, which was a fairly straightforward recovery, and then came seven weeks of radiation.  Fast forward five months later, and here I am - treatment complete.

I'm thankful to my partner Ricky, who helped me make arrangements, came to appointments, and gave me a whole bunch of pep talks. We managed to play gigs (and most of the time I felt pretty decent), rehearse, find new guitarists, update the website, book more gigs, book weddings, and all the things that come with running a successful band. We rented my house and then packed it up and moved. We continued, business as usual, with his kids, explaining that CB had something called cancer that she had to go for treatments for, but that she was going to be ok.

I am happy to say that I feel pretty decent overall, am healing just fine and am thankful that I am able to continue to perform like nothing has happened - which is completely untrue, as I am a changed human being. Oh yes, I more fully understand the need to have a good time, to unwind, to hear and sing along with great music - to celebrate life's happy occasions because life is challenging and throws some difficult things our way.

Thanks to our friends, family and fans for celebrating these happy milestones with Sunshine Symphony! We love you!

Peace, Love & Rock n' Roll,
Christine