Category Archives: fundraising event

Can You Really Effectively Do Fundraising For Your Church With Just A Piano Player?

It’s always interesting when I get a call to do some fundraising for your church or school from someone who wants me to play piano music at their charity event. But they think the piano can only be relegated to background music.

It’s true we can offer some beautiful ambiance.

But there is so much more to what I bring to the table. What I offer for your fund raiser entertainment is to bring people together. But if I am also going to be the background piano player first, then I need to bring them in differently than if I am your headliner entertainment.

That’s exactly what I was able to do here for this church fund raiser. Check this out …

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Thank YOU!!!

You’re Welcome! 

It’s always a pleasure to help raise funds for churches and schools. I never get tired of it.

We have a wonderful community here in Chicago. A real mixture of people and cultures and needs. St Nicolai has been around for 125 years now. Think about what that means. All the different changes this community has seen over the decades. From working class families to immigrants to 2nd, 3rd and now 4th generations of people living and working ad dying in the City of Chicago.

I’ve been living and working in Chicago as a musician since 1981. I grew up in the suburbs. I came down here to U of I as it was called back then. Now our kids have grown up here and call these neighbors their friends too.

I’ve known Dave Antieau for a long time. He’s been the pastor at St. Nicolai’s for several years now. He started off as one of my piano students back when I was teaching full time.

His wife is a wonderful woman who is just as active in the community as David is. They’ve seen me perform live music at a mutual friend’s wedding. It’s all the same thing for us.

Bring people together with the power of music and
create great memories. Let us do the same for you and your fundraising efforts.

Call now 773-527-7417 

charity event entertainment, fund raiser, fund raiser entertainment,

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When Was The Last Time You Had A Good Laugh? Dueling Pianos Music and Comedy

Another beautiful frosty day in November here in Chicago. We had another successful corporate event last night. It was a dueling pianos show in Peoria IL courtesy of Central Illinois Dueling Pianos. Thank you very much Andrew

We entertained a whole bunch of government officials. Some newly elected. Some newly un-elected. And of course all of their staff. We had a lot of laughs.

I love that part of our job as a musician, as an entertainer for an event.

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When Was The Last Time You Had A Good Laugh?

Getting people to laugh. Sometimes we’re just improvising. Sometimes they’re routines that we have been doing for years. But the thing about dueling pianos is we are always going to have something different.

It’s because of the audience. Every audience, tho similar, is different. Different requests. Different celebrations. Just different.

But we know you’re going to have fun. We know we’re going to get you to where you want to go. You want to have fun and you need to laugh. We just have to organize the deck chairs, if you will. Alphabetize the chaos.

We had that rolling laughter last night. That interactive banter that keys off of people in the audience and their responses. A quality dueling piano show allows for that to happen. It’s so flexible.

I feel like the laughter is the key. I have always been looking for that laugh. As long as I can remember. Its a key component of what I do. Getting people to laugh.

One of the ways to do it is to be able to laugh at myself. That right there is probably the top way to get others’ to join me in laughter. I don’t take this whole music and comedy thing too seriously. I know, comedy is a serious business and all. But I just don’t take myself too seriously.

I hope you don’t either. And don’t take it too personally either. We’re all human. We’re all really kind of the same – for the most part. We all do and think the same stupid stuff. So it’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. It lightens the load we have to carry.

I think I read something somewhere about how laughter releases a chemical into our systems that keeps us young. I hope that’s true. Because there are times when I absolutely crave hearing laughter and having a good laugh – at myself most of all.

I hope you have a great Holiday season. We are busy busy busy again. Yet there are still a few dates open. I’d love to help you laugh some night too. Call me and we’ll see what we can do.

The Power of Live Music Entertainment Will Astound You!

The Power of Live Music Entertainment
will literally astound you!

Edison said …

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves.”

The power of music is astounding! I get to see it every night I am playing piano music live in a corporate event or at a club date. I can see it whether I am entertaining in a country club or at a fund raiser.

Yes I can play piano and yes I can sing. But the music isn’t mine. It belongs to all of us and my job is to provide the vehicle for you to climb in and take a ride;

A Magic Carpet Ride.

Ride Sally Ride.

Baby You Can Drive My Car.

The tricky part is letting you know you need it before you know you want it.

So I am here to tell you want it. You need it. You crave live music entertainment and you’re going to be talking about what an astounding time you had last night tomorrow morning and for the rest of your life.

You will remember your event for years to come and maybe even beyond. It won’t because of the bean dip. It won’t be that really funny story Uncle Funky tells every party ever year every time you get guys get together.

It’s going to be the live music you shared. It’s going to be the dancing and the singing and the great memories you’ve created together with me behind the piano or with my band.

I’m not making this up. The music is telling you this is true.
You know how I know?
Let me ask you a question:

Do you remember where you were when you got your first kiss?

Of course you do.

Now what was your favorite song from that time period?

See? You knew instantly.

That’s the power of music.

That song (or songs) that was playing on the radio or on the 8 track player in the car you were in at the time, ingrained your emotional happiness. It became the soundtrack to your life.

That’s the power of music.

It transcends everything that was going on at the time. You don’t remember what you ate for breakfast the morning of your first kiss. But you remember the song that was your favorite.

So call me and let’s create some more great memories with live music entertainment.

I am Dan and I am the PianoMan and I would be honored if you would let me create those moments with you and your friends and family that will last a lifetime.

Live Music Entertainment is Astounding!

Call 773-527-7417

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Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!

live music entertainment for events piano player for hire

Live Music Creates Astounding Memories!

Warm Weather Means Chicago Dueling Pianos At Navy Pier

Chicago Dueling Pianos at Navy Pier must mean …
The warm weather is here?

It’s the first warm day of spring here in Chicago. I think we may be close to 70º. I took my walk outdoors today instead of on the treadmill like I usually do. I saw the robins out in earnest. The smell of BBQ was prevalent throughout the entire neighborhood. A sure sign that Chicagoans are ready for the warm weather to appear and the snow blowers and salt to disappear.

Dueling pianos, entertainment for events,

Chicago Dueling Pianos Show

We are down at Navy Pier tonight for a dueling pianos show at a corporate event. Entertaining in front of several thousand people. We’ve got the traditional dueling pianos fun; sing along, dance along, laugh along live music entertainment. Yet tonight we have added a new wrinkle. We’ve added a drummer to the festivities.

That’s one of the reasons why Chicago Dueling Pianos are one of the most versatile party ideas. 

We can take your requests so that you get to decide which music you want to hear. But we can add a full band, or just a drummer like we’re doing tonight. We can add a featured vocalist. It just gives the extra added dimension to our regular piano music entertainment for events. chicago dueling pianos 

So after we do load in and sound check, I think I’m going to go for an additional walk down around Navy Pier and enjoy this beautiful weather. You never know how long it is going to last. Because you know what they say, If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait 5 minutes. It’ll change.

Call us for your live music entertainment at your next corporate event, charity events or backyard BBQ. We love BBQ! HeckFire … we’ll c’mon by before it hits 80º. We’re not picky. Live music and comedy goes with every kind of weather. So does Chicago Dueling Pianos for that matter … 

What can we say? We’re Chicagoans! Give us a call. 773-527-7414

We can GUARANTEE … You Will Look Good B’cuz We Sound Good!

6 Reasons Why Piano Music Makes One of The Best Fundraising Ideas Of All Time

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Piano Music Will Raise Funds. Really!

Live sing along piano music goes down in history as one of the all time great fundraising ideas and is a great choice for your next charity fund raiser event.

1. We are affordable with structured rates to fit every budget. We offer discounts for charity event entertainment packages that benefit children such as after school programs, athletic associations and most especially religious groups.

2. We can involve everyone in your audience because it spans every demographic; kids, tweeners, teens, millennials, young families, retirees on up to grandparents.

Even the people who don’t get to joining in with the sing along or the dancing will have a good time watching all their friends and co-workers get up and be all silly.

3. A VERY versatile live music entertainment choice. We can add a band or maybe hust a drummer, we can feature ‘guest’ singers from your group, we can create a karaoke event. Sound versatile to you too?

4. The piano player can take your requests. You get to set the pace of the show. If you don’t like the song one of these wonderful performers are playing, make a request and change the song. It’s fun when you’re in charge.

5. The very best reason you’re getting is live music entertainment played by a real musician in real time. Too many acts play with recorded music these days. And why not? The technology is there and it sounds so good. But because we’re actually playing piano and singing live for you, you get to hear us make mistakes and screw up the words and laugh at ourselves for doing it. Not bad huh,? 

Try us. You’ll see why live piano music makes one of the All Time Great Fundraising Ideas to come around since forever. 

773-527-7417

oh wait … did I say 6 Reasons? Yes. I did. Reason #6 … IT’S FUN!!!

Car Trouble After A Live Music Gig

Right after I finished another live music gig:

It happened. I don’t like to admit that it happened to me.

But it did.

It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

It’s just that it hasn’t happened in a long, long time.

Car Trouble. Yup. My truck didn’t start after the gig.

Thankfully it happened after the gig and not on the way to the gig.

I was finished. All done. All loaded and ready to go and boom. Then it happened.

Put the key in.

Turn the ignition.

Nothing.

Don’t you hate that?

It used to happen all the time. You know, like, 30 years ago. When I was a college student and I relied on $50 cars to get me through the winter.

Now it hasn’t happened in ooohhh I don’t know probably 15 years? Maybe longer.

I bought this truck because I needed reliable transportation for our gigs.

Playing live music is expensive.

You’ve got to keep the gear working in all kinds of weather here in Chicago. digital music equipment is fragile. You’ve got to have reliable transportation. And when the cold winds blow, you know the odds rise up against us.

So you stay on top of things. I replaced the battery before the beginning of this winter. I always carry a pair of jumper cables, just in case.

I’ve been trained by The Boy Scouts. Be prepared.

I have a blanket in the back of the truck. I don’t know if I have flairs but I think they’re back there by the spare tire as well. I replaced all 4 tires on her before last winter’s party season. Snow tires. That way I wouldn’t dependent on that spare tire or a tire jack that could get fussy. 

Good thing. Last year was a snowy one. We’re not as snowy this year. But we’re sure getting a lot of cold weather. What’dya expect? It’s winter. 

Here is a picture of our beloved cargo van on the back of the tow truck.

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Not A Sight One Likes To See

This ole girl has been great. We named this van Vicki. My girls called it ‘The Man Van’. The boys said it looked like it belonged on an episode of Law and Order: SVU. My accountant loves it because it has no windows so I guess that means it’s a solid write off.

I love her. Vicki. Yes I always name my vehicles after girls. We figured that one out when we were teenagers. They’re prettier that way. And we all know every girl, like every vehicle, has an inherent beauty to it that must be named.

So let’s see what’s up with Vicki. I’ll let you know. My mechanic is awesome. I can give you his name if you want it.

He’s always been great. Because he never charges that much. He is always fair on what he charges and because I have another big corporate event coming up this Thursday. He said Vicki will be back up and running again by then. Phew!

Maybe its something simple like a starter. Oh well . . . . . it happens. At least it happened after the gig.

How Do You Spell Mardi Gras Dueling Pianos?

Mardi Gras.
God’s gift to help us get through the winter.

Wait. That can’t be right.

Mardi Gras is a pagan Holiday. designed to help us sinners get it together before the miracle of Easter.

Oh … forget it … I’m just a mixed up Catholic who hasn’t been to church in a while. Either way you look at it … and I look at it as an Ambassador of Fun would look at it … An Emcee of Party … a professional piano entertainer would look at it … LET’S SING SOME SONGS!!!

Plus, we’re going to be raising some money for the Kankakee County Chamber … again! I think this is our 3rd or 4th year in a row providing charity event entertainment for them? I’ve lost count.

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Mardi Gras Dueling Pianos in Kankakee 2015

Dueling Pianos with a Mardi Gras twist, a tinge of The Big Easy, A taste of the Le Bon Temps Roulé. Can you resist it any longer? 

This winter is getting longer and longer and spring is still a few 6 weeks away. So let’s embrace the ice! Let’s dance in the darkness. Let’s do the night the way the night should be done .. with live music in the form of dueling piano mardi gras.

We’ll be there. Where will you be?

Knights of Columbus Hall, 187 South Indiana Avenue, Kankakee, IL 60901 — Doors open at 6 PM

Support businesses in Kankakee County IL We help each other to improve business by building a better community.

For tickets and to make a donation click here 

Or cut and paste this link:
http://business.kankakeecountychamber.com/events/details/3rd-annual-mardi-gras-dueling-pianos-872

Bring some friends … We know you got some!

Piano Player For Hire Finally Decodes Priceline

So I think I’m finally figuring out how to use Priceline.com to my advantage. Since I travel so much as a piano player for hire, I figured it’s worth making it work for me and our family budget.

But I’m wondering something …

Who the hell picks these paintings? 

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Hotel Art

Not that they’re bad or anything. I’m just kind of wondering cuz they are exceptionally non-descript.

There’s nothing about them that make you go, “Oh. That’s really cool. I think I should get some for my collection. Let me call my art broker and see if he can cut me a deal on a bulk purchase.”

And what the hell is with this smell?

These NON-SMOKING rooms smell all perfumey. And not that good kind of perfumey, like wow I need some of this funk in my house right now too. It’ll go great with those paintings I just bought.

I would rather have the old stale cigarette smoke from yesteryear.

No. Wait. I wouldn’t. That was REALLY disgusting.

But this new smell seems like it’s designed to be cat house friendly or something. I can hear the voice over on the radio spot: “It smells like a brothel, but bring the kids anyway. It’s safe and won’t deform their growth. Plus, it’ll create all kinds of fresh and special memories you can share for a lifetime.”

Oh well. The price was right. Here’s to shopping on the Internet.

Bye for now.

Fundraising Ideas in Ohio

An excellent example of

Fundraising Ideas in Central Ohio

You know I am constantly doing charity events and we as entertainers know truly the value of giving something back. We are entertainers who love to provide live music entertainment whenever we can. And we are ALWAYS in support of communities who are doing their best to help out all of our kids. Kids are kids wherever you go. It doesn’t matter if its your church or your school or your activities center. We believe, my wife and I, that if we keep the kids busy and give them opportunities to experience a wide variety of activities, they will grow in confidence. Then when it’s their turn, they’ll be contributing members of society wherever they wind up.

In fact, here is an example of one of our kids in action.
https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ZayaGillogly/bobcathon-2014-15

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Even A Little Bit Can Make A HUGE Difference

Our oldest daughter, Zaya, is in school at Ohio University. (No that’s not her in the picture) She is involved in an excellent example of fundraising ideas. She is currently studying social work there in Athens OH. She is doing a great job so far. She is taking a full load of Honors Classes in their Tutorial Program. She is also working 25-30 a week at a family shelter.

Please give whatever you can. Because even a small donation can be HUGE to a child in need. 

Ronald McDonald House Charities 

Thanks.

Is Live Music Excessive?

I was always wondering, ever since I was a wee young one, “Was I born with the Excessive Gene?”. I was never one to be satisfied easily. I was never the guy who was happy being the best. I always wanted to be great. Frustrating when it came to sports, yes. But thankfully I found something I could do well. Music. Specifically playing piano. I didn’t come fast nor easy for me. My obsessive nature allowed me to keep going even when I wasn’t really cutting it on the music scene.

So that’s why when I heard from a potential client who wanted to hire us for their fundraiser entertainment that they thought “Live Music was a bit excessive for our event.” I thought “Wow! I’m right on target again.”

I don’t mind hearing “No.” since I have been hearing it most of my life. Plus, I know when I get rejected, I’m all that much closer to hearing someone say “Yes!”

Live music at your next event is not excessive. It is perfect because, nowadays, no one expects it. It used to be there was a ton of bands out there performing and doing gigs. But now it seems like the only time you hear live music anymore it is a wedding music bands or at church.

That’s why we get called repeatedly, year after year, by our customers who are hosting graduation parties or charity events or company events. Live music works. I may even go so far as to argue that it is necessary.

It brings your donors back year after year. They bring their friends. They want to hear good music and have a few laughs and enjoy themselves. Live music adds color to this otherwise bland and monochrome world.

So thank you rejected potential future client. I take it as a compliment that Live Music is Excessive. We are.

Call us for your next fund raiser and watch us raise some fund for your charity. 773-527-7417