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Happy New Year and Happy News! 

Happy New Year, Symphomaniacs! This time of year always naturally comes with some reflection as it's the time of year when the gigs slow down, the holiday hustle is over, and we start to book out the rest of the year.  Our years tend to fly by with wild abandon, considering we are not only musicians, but also have full-time jobs, partners, and some of us, children. This past year was filled with some fantastic gigs and we hope to see you at those same venues and even some new venues this year.  We are also actively (and speedily) booking weddings for 2019 and 2020.

We in the band have some happy news to share: our lead singers, Christine & Ricky, have also gotten engaged to one another. The two met when Ricky was auditioning for Christine's former band, She Said Sunday, and more or less sang together before they actually conversed.  Almost eight years of harmonizing later, Christine and Ricky are now actively planning their own destination wedding in Turks and Caicos for June 2020.

Both Ricky and Christine's experience in performing at weddings and working with our local vendors has facilitated their own wedding planning.  If you're considering having live music at your reception, we encourage you to reach out to a real couple who knows the ins-and-outs of the wedding business here in the Lehigh Valley.  

Contact us for our rates and details about our wedding entertainment options and hurry! We're running out of dates for 2019 and booking now for 2020.

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.

White Wedding 

Summer and fall weddings - seems like everyone's having one. And while there is something beautiful about being outside, or under a tent with the moonlight overhead, I believe there's something equally magical about a December wedding and it's a wonderful option that more brides should consider.

This past weekend, we performed at  Jen & George's wedding at Cairnwood Estate in suburban Philadelphia, PA. This venue is stunning in every detail - from the long driveway as you approach, to the giant front door that makes you feel like you're walking into a castle. And you are, in essence, as Cairnwood is the former country mansion of the Pitcairn family, the founder of Pittsburgh Plate Glass (which you may know now as PPG).
 

Best Thing About Winter Weddings #1: Holiday Decorations 

One of the most beautiful things about the mansion is that it was decked out for the holidays, with a giant Christmas tree in the main room, plus lights on the giant staircase, greenery, and candles everywhere. By the time the guests started arriving and the reception started, the sun was retreating for the day, but the candelabras gave a soft ,glowing ambience that couldn't be matched at any other time of the year. I can understand that non-Christian brides and/or grooms may not be thrilled by the idea of a giant Christmas tree in your reception space, but most of the decorations were non-denominational and more "wintry" - think pine greens and candles. 

Best Thing About Winter Weddings #2: Winter Accessories
There is something especially beautiful about a bridal gown with a vintage fur stole, modern faux fur look-alike, or woolen coat or wrap to keep your arms warm in your wedding dress (or bridesmaid dresses!). Bride Jennifer wore a beautiful stole over her dress and passed out pashminas to her guests to keep warm if they were chilly. 

Best Thing About Winter Weddings #3: Winter and Christmas Songs
For Jennifer and George's wedding, the Sunshine Symphony duo performed a set of acoustic love songs, and it was fun for us to be able to throw in holiday songs like "Baby, It's Cold Outside," or "Let it Snow." Your favorite classic holiday songs also work well as mixes for cocktail or dinner music, think Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives or Tony Bennett.


If you love historic mansions and want to visit Cairnwood, they offer afternoon teas once a month and lots of events that are open to the public. You can find more information on their website:  http://www.cairnwood.org/

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!

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

Lehigh Valley Music Awards - we're nominated! 

This weekend is the musical community's biggest event in the Lehigh Valley - the Lehigh Valley Music Awards happen on Sunday, March 8th at ArtsQuest.  Sunshine Symphony is thrilled to be nominated by our peers in the music industry as "Outstanding New Band" this year (our second together).

We have been thankful to have performed all over the area in the past year, from "Tunes at Twilight" to Forks Township's Summer Concert series, to Fullerton Carnival, and happy that people have noticed the passion we put into our performances, the time we've spent rehearsing and re-rehearsing, and the variety of the music we play, like our tongue-in-cheek humor as you listen to our version of "Raise Your Glass" that bursts suddenly into the chorus of "Let it Go" from Frozen.

We are also thankful to be a part of the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia music scenes, and have such a variety of venues in which to perform. To be part of a community that recognizes the arts and its talented musicians is a blessing!

Read about some of the other industry nominees for awards here in this article by Dustin Schoof:
http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/music/index.ssf/2015/03/lehigh_valley_music_awards_16_2.html#incart_2box_entertainment_index.ssf

Make Your Special Event Shine with Sunshine Symphony 

Thank you to Tall Ships America, who found Sunshine Symphony after a band search and asked us to play their Annual Awards Banquet and Gala, which was held in Philadelphia. We said, "Sure!" and then made plans to travel the hour or so into the city to the Sheraton Society Hill.

Tall Ships America is a diverse organization of sailors and educators who host programs to teach young people how to sail and other valuable life lessons, like confidence, leadership,  The organization also has a scholarship program which allows many young people the chance to join the program, even if they never thought it possible.  Tall Ships wanted Sunshine Symphony to entertain the staff after dinner and after their awards ceremony.  We perform at a lot of private parties - and this audience included many age groups and musical tastes. The group was ready to have a good time, and we got everyone dancing and singing along by the end of the night, which you can see in this video clip.

 
 
Organizer Darlene Godin had this to say about working with the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia's best cover band:
"I just wanted to let you know that we received rave reviews about Sunshine Symphony’s performance at our annual awards banquet on Friday the 6th.  When the dancers finally got on the dance floor, there was no stopping them. Your professional attitude and amazing performance was over the top fantastic. We wish we could bring you with us to all our conferences. From the whole staff here at Tall Ships America,
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!"

Sunshine Symphony has quite a bit of experience working with event planners and corporations to provide entertainment and sound support for special events. Christine, in her former life, worked as a Marketing and Corporate Event planner, so she is very familiar with what corporate party-goers expect and enjoy at special events. She's also aware of the questions that event planners ask, has great attention to detail and knows just what information needs to be exchanged in order to make all aspects of the party a success.

We have a substantial sound system as well, that can handle large rooms like the very large ballroom at the Sheraton Society Hill without overpowering it. With our sound set up, Tall Ships America was able to use our wireless microphone and PA system to announce their award recipients, and we were happy to run sound during the awards banquet and make sure everything sounded great.

If you need Sunshine Symphony to illuminate your special event, please use our form to Contact Us, or give us a call a 888-937-3568

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

 

Email Issues 

UPDATE: 2/5 - it appears that our email is back up and running as of last night. We have recovered old email, but do not have emails from between 1/31 and 2/4, when the server failure occurred. If you did send a message to us in that timeframe, it may have bounced back to you. Please resend. We apologize for any inconveniences while the server problem occurred.  Thank you!

Our email/website provider is having a serious technical issue with their email servers. As a result, we have not been able to receive or access our email since Saturday, 1/31. We apologize for any inconvenience if you're trying to get in touch with us. The best way to get in touch with us right now is to call our toll-free number (888-937-3568), or submit our custom form here: http://sunshinesymphony.com/contact

Alternatively, you may message us on Facebook.

Thanks for your understanding. We pride ourselves on our quick responses, but unfortunately, our email situation is out of our control.

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