Archive for the 'Featured News' Category

30
Nov
12

Official Opinions: Chicago is your home for the holidays

Chicago hosts so many holiday events throughout November and December it’s hard to choose which ones to attend. Here at Stitely we once again combed through tons of seasonal events and recommends these as some of the best.

  • For a fun day appropriate for all ages head over to Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest. This indoor winter playground includes an indoor ice-skating arena, rides, obstacle courses and a huge Ferris wheel. Not your thing? Then hide from the winter winds and watch the festive band performances throughout the day. It’s impossible to be a Scrooge at this indoor winter wonderland. (By the way, did I mention it’s indoors?!)
  • For merry melodies check out the upcoming Voices of the Season at the Garfield Park Conservatory on December 2nd. Celebrate the season by enjoying the melodies of various choral groups throughout the Conservatory. One group stands out from the others though, our very own Rachel sings with the Wicker Park Choral Singers who will happen to be participating in the event and its FREE; you have to love that. Come enjoy the music as well as some refreshments and holiday activities.
  • One of my favorite childhood memories is driving through nearby suburban neighborhoods to “ohhhhh” and “ahhhh” at the colorful lights.  Why not bring this experience to Chicago? Hop on the “Holiday Lights Tour” with the Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. to see the beautiful holiday lights of Chicago. Sights include Macy’s holiday windows on State Street, the Daley Plaza tree, Buckingham Fountain and many more.  Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance and check the weather so you know how to stay cozy on the ride!
  • Want to check out some more beautiful lights but don’t want to spend any money to do so? Why don’t you head over to the Lincoln Park Zoo to experience the entire Zoo light up for the holiday season. Check out the animals but also get the mesmerizing lights that make the holiday season memorable. The lights turn on from 5-9pm and Santa is there to take photos with. Besides that though the zoo is offering new 3-D displays, live ice carvings every night and a musical light show. It’s fun for the whole family you won’t want to miss it!
  • While it’s wonderful to be with family during the holidays, there are always those hysterical, awkward, I-CAN’T-BELIEVE-YOU-JUST-DID-THAT moments. This year Second City celebrates these weird holiday experiences with its “Nutcracking Holiday Revue” show. Showcasing a variety of skits along with improv and songs, this show is going to be a hit!  Performances run until December 31st so get your tickets now.

We hope you have a very happy holiday season. Now get out there and enjoy it!

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10
Oct
12

Official Opinions: Planning the perfect holiday party with Stitely

We don’t know about you, but we can’t believe it’s already October! Soon the leaves will be gone, the wind will be howling, and there will be holiday parties to plan and attend.  Never fear, Stitely Entertainment is ready to help you make your holiday party the best in town. While every party is unique and the needs of each organization vary, live music or a DJ never fails to take an ordinary event and make it extra special. We even offer discounts for weekdays/nights and can provide a sound system appropriate for speeches. Regardless of the number of guests or the type of atmosphere you want to create, Stitely has a variety of options to fit every budget and venue. Contact us or call us today at 847-866-8002 to book the perfect music for your holiday party!

If you’re looking for a dance-filled night, check out these options:

Photo by Gail Pollard Photography

  • DJ- Stitely DJs know how to craft a party soundtrack to get everyone from the CEO to the mail clerk on the dance floor.  Check out how our top DJ can up the ante for any party.
  • Acoustic/Power Rock Bands– This versatile combo of piano, bass and drums brings the energy of a live band at a price that’s perfect for a smaller budget. Add a guitar/vocalist to dramatically expand the styles of music they can play.
  • Jazz quartet with a vocalist– Add a vocalist to turn a group perfect for background music into an awesome combo for dancing.
  • Dance bands- We have four amazing and versatile dance bands that can flood the floor at your party! Check out our website to see which band is right for your event.

If you’re interested in a sophisticated evening of background music, here are some great options:

  • Jazz combos– Nothing says elegance like a jazz combo, especially one that can also play a few holiday favorites. Choose from a duo of piano and drums, a trio of piano, drums, and sax, or trio of piano, drums and bass. Another versatile option with a wide repertoire: a quartet with piano, drums, bass and sax.

    Photo by Leah Lund

  • Solo Guitar and Voice– One of our most popular & versatile options is our selection of guitar-vocalists. Whether you want to sit back & enjoy a show, or savor an intimate atmosphere of modern or indie background music, these musicians are pros who energize any event.
  • String combos– String combos are great if you want to hear traditional classical music, though some of our string trios and quartets can also play a handful of pop arrangements. Let us help you pick the instrumental combinations that best fit your budget and desired atmosphere.
  • Soloists– We have tons of fantastic soloists who can play classical, jazz or pop music. One of our most popular options is a pianist, but if you’re looking for something unique we also have harpists, accordionists, and more.
  • Blues trio- This combo of guitar, bass and drums is great for sultry, smoking blues background music.

If you want fun, festive or interactive entertainment, these options are guaranteed to keep you engaged:

  • Caroling with a pianist- Book a superb Stitely pianist and have yourself a merry little sing-along.  Our skillful musicians know a wide variety of carols and songs to get your staff into the holiday spirit.
  • Piano with vocals– Capture the fun of a piano bar with dueling pianos, or enjoy the intimate ambiance of a cabaret with a Stitely musician as he sings & accompanies himself on the piano. Playing hits from all genres, piano with vocals is a perfect option for a show, background music or both.
  • Dickensian caroling party- This merry vocal ensemble arrives in traditional 19th-century costumes and can either put on a show or a lead a jolly sing-along.
  • Blues quintet with a vocalist– Let us show you why Chicago is the home of the blues with one of our fantastic blues combos.  Adding a vocalist really ups the ‘wow’ factor to create a dynamic show!
  • Brass quintet- This festive ensemble can really put you in jolly mood by playing the traditional holiday favorites and more.
  • Live band karaoke– Nothing gets a crowd more involved in the party than karaoke. Party like a rock star with your guests as they sing backed by one of our live bands. A great idea for those who want both dancing and interactive entertainment!
05
Oct
12

Official Opinions: Where to celebrate the spooky season

Looking for something spooky to do this weekend? Stitely‘s got you covered. From historic ghost tours to haunted houses for all ages, here are a few events where one can definitely find a way to give himself a good scare and get in the Halloween spirit!

There are plenty of haunted tours happening around the city this month, but a few caught our attention here at Stitely. The Chicago Hauntings Haunted City tour is the tour to go on if you want to discover Chicago’s most active supernatural spots. This 2.5 hour haunted tour starts at 7pm or 10pm and takes you around the city by bus. This tour is unique in the fact that they let you get off the bus to get a closer look at anything out of the ordinary. So dive deep into the supernatural with the whole family or be a bold solo act; just remember to bring your cameras to document any ghostly sightings. You can purchase your tickets by phone or online for $33 for adults, $30 for vets and elderly guests, and $25 for kids under 12.

If seeing Chicago’s spooky spots doesn’t scare you, then test your iron will at The Music Box Theater’s Music Box of Horrors on October 13-14. The Music Box is a historic theater built in 1929 that presents a yearly 24-hour movie marathon of classic horror films. If you are a fearless moviegoer this is the place to be. Get your tickets for the marathon for $35 a person now or go on the day of the show for $40.

Not into movie marathons? Fear not, the Spirit Ships and Haunted Harbors tour will still leave chills going down your spine. Leaving at 8:30 pm the Tall Ship Windy will set sail into the dark misty waters of Lake Michigan.  Away from the city sounds you can uncover the mystery, history, and legend of past ships and the deep waters below.  Tickets are available online; adult tickets are $30, young adults are $25, kids are $10 and babies are only a $1. Grab a blanket and settle down for some scary tales of the Chicago waters.

If supernatural spirits, horror films, and old sailing tales aren’t scary enough for you, then I would recommend hitting up the following VERY SCARY, award-winning haunted houses in the Chicago area:

Anna, In the Darkness: The Basement-Dream Theatre, 556 W. 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60616
The Fear Haunted House, 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611
Chronicles Of The Cursed-500 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60654
Disturbia-Torment of Fears is located on 800 W. Lake Street, Addison, IL 60101
Eleventh Hour-434 E. Devon Avenue, Elk Grove, IL 60007
Statesville Haunted Prison And City Of The Dead, 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL, 60441

To find more local haunted houses check out HauntedHouseChicago.com

Hopefully this list will allow you to have a fun-filled season and still allow you to sleep at night (if that’s what you want to do). Enjoy!

21
Sep
12

Official Opinion: Get Cheeky with It – Birthday Style

CheekyIf you haven’t heard the news, Cheeky Chicago and their birthday bash is where it’s at in two weeks. This year marks the 4th birthday of the online lifestyle magazine, Cheeky Chicago, and what better way to celebrate this milestone than with a fantastic party?

For the past four years, Cheeky has been the hot Chicago social spot to find out about the most exciting happenings around the Windy City as well as the go-to guide for all things fresh, feminine and fabulous. After four years of offering nothing but the best to the Chicago women, they’re throwing a birthday party to stop the seasons in their tracks at the Four Seasons on October 4th.

If the trend of four wasn’t apparent before, Cheeky is making sure no one forgets how long they’ve been around by decorating the Four Seasons’ grand ballroom with each season. Guests can lounge in the different seasonal areas and enjoy a full sensory experience by sampling the delicious winter, spring, summer or fall themed food and drinks. But don’t chill too long- the Stitely Orchestra will providing pack-the-dance-floor hits as you party the night away!

Come join Cheeky for their birthday bash by purchasing your tickets here! Tickets are only $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Don’t wait, you wouldn’t want to miss it. We’ll bring the music, you bring the good times. Get cheeky!

24
Aug
12

official opinions: Make your company holiday party count

In the heat of a Chicago August, it can be easy to forget that the holidays are slowly creeping up on us again.  Soon the leaves will begin to change and fall then we’ll be right back to cooking turkeys and picking out gifts for our loved ones.  Suddenly we will find ourselves swimming in endless traditions and family meals, rather than a rooftop pool. But of course the holidays are not simply a family affair; it’s a time of year when we get to celebrate with everyone in our lives and that includes co-workers and bosses.  Yes, I’m referring to that infamous annual event:  the company holiday party.

Whether it’s something you dread or eagerly await, for most employees a holiday party is a highly-anticipated event.  You may not realize it, but parties or other office-wide social events can really do a lot for employee morale, which is very important in maintaining a successful business.

So, as a guest or planner, what can you do to improve this yearly event?  How can you take the awkwardness out of a party with everyone from janitors to the CEO in attendance?  It can be a tricky situation, but certainly worth the effort.  Here are a few tips on how to get everyone in your company loosening their ties and enjoying the evening.

1.)  Know your budget!  When you know your budget in advance, you can begin to shape the evening within real expectations.  A big blow-out can be a fun opportunity to have employees invite guests, but a more intimate, less extravagant affair may be more comfortable with just staff members.  Your budget will allow you to determine the number of guests, venue and catering early in the process.

2.)  Know your “vibe”:  The atmosphere you want to create at your corporate party is extremely important.  For a more traditional business vibe, you may want to make a dress code or hold the event at an elegant restaurant or banquet hall. More informal parties can focus on other aspects, such as finding a place with a great deal on an open bar.  Either way, an easy way to set the right mood for your party is through music.  Writers for the staff of PositiveArticles.com put it perfectly in their story on party planning: “There is an amazing relation between music and emotions of the people.”   Make sure your party vibe is fun and energetic by booking your music with Stitely.

3.)  Plan EARLY!:  It may seem premature to begin planning the big holiday shindig while you’re still working on keeping your summer tan, however, you want to make sure to allow plenty of time to nail down the essentials.  You can’t have a party without music, food, and a venue.  Plus, thinking ahead may help you find better rates for the services you want.  Contact us today to find out how much you can save on morale-boosting music for your company’s holiday party!

03
Aug
12

official opinions: Fun Fall Internships

Look how much fun our marketing interns have!

Hey there Stitely Blogosphere! If you are a student or know any students looking for a fall internship, we have two unique internship positions available: Event-Planning Support and Marketing and Multimedia. Both positions begin late August or early September and continue through December. You can take these internships for class credit and hours are flexible between 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday to accommodate your schedule. Bonus: We pay a small daily stipend to defray transportation cost, provide for lunch and have some left over for the weekend.   If you want to get some hands-on experience in the music and events industries, these internships are for you.  Here’s a little about the positions:

-Marketing and Multimedia: While duties vary on a project by project basis, basic responsibilities for Marketing and Multimedia Interns include taking photos and videos at a handful of events then editing and posting these media on Flickr & YouTube.  Interns also write blog posts, maintain our various social media sites and contribute ideas for new PR & marketing initiatives.  We’re looking for someone with strong writing skills who is also great at taking photos, recording videos and editing these media. A familiarity with graphic design and Mac computers is encouraged, but not necessary. We ask you to be in the office at least two days per week and you will need to attend a few weekend events, but these will be limited to two or three per month.

Past interns love coming back to see us!

-Event Planning Support: This intern assists Carly, our Event Planning Guru, to prepare  for events.  Basic responsibilities include preparing musical materials such as charts, lyrics and MP3s for upcoming events, interfacing with musicians, and a few special projects.  You also have the opportunity to dabble in marketing, occasionally writing a blog post or attending events to take photos. We ask you to be in our Evanston office 20-24 hours a week and you must be able to read music in order to be considered for the position. Strong writing skills and photo/video experience are also a plus but not necessary.

Interested?  Send your resume and cover letter that includes the position for which you are applying and why you are a good candidate to Rachel@stitely.com.  Event-Support applicants, please include your musical background in your cover letter. We hope to hear from you!

27
Jul
12

Stitely Soundboard: Music camp is Birchin’

If you called the office last week looking for Jeff, you probably already know that he was out for the week. Where was he? He was teaching percussion to high school students at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center!

Located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, Birch Creek is an intensive, performance-based summer program that allows students to work with professional musicians. The Percussion and Steel Band program is said to be one of the most comprehensive educational experiences for the young drummer/percussionist. Students perform in percussion and mallet ensembles and participate in  world percussion classes as well. This was Jeff’s 23rd year in the program so we asked him about teaching and what keeps him going back for more.

Stitely Office (SO): How did you first get involved with Birch Creek?

JS: Twenty-two years ago I got a call from Robert Chappell who is the head percussionist at Northern Illinois University to come in and try it out.

SO: How many students did you work with and what did you teach?

JS: There were about 25-35 students in the percussion program and we worked with them 8-10 at a time. It was a great week immersing in music.  I wish I could do it once a month!

SO: What was your favorite part of the experience?

JS: The oldest members of the mallet playing class, aka the seniors, were so intimidated by playing the drum set. They were just so nervous, especially when it came to using both their hands and feet at the same time since that’s what you do with a drum set. So I told them to think back to when they were four years old and wanted to bang on everything, from pots, pans, and even the floor. Then I told them to take that inner four year old, and just bang on the drum set, bang on everything and just enjoy the sounds that come from the instrument. They actually had a lot of fun doing that and then said, “Alright let’s learn this thing!”

Another memory I loved was when the faculty played together. At the end of the program we have a percussion and steel band concert. The faculty got to play jazz together and it was just so much fun!

SO: If you could walk into a store that had every percussive instrument from around the world, what three instruments would you grab from the display?

JS: Probably a cajon, which is a Latin instrument and is basically a wooden box with a metal snare on the inside. I would also grab an upgraded V-drums, the new model by Roland, and probably a marimba. It’s such a beautiful sounding instrument and I wish I was a lot better at it. Oh, and probably the tabla from India.




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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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