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Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce holds 2015 Grand Giveaway, “Sarpy Super Slammin’ Disco” at Livestock Exchange Building

 

Welcome-to-the-Sarpy-Super-Slammin-DiscoThere were bell-bottoms, Afro wigs, platform shoes, and peace signs aplenty throughout the 10th floor ballrooms of The Livestock Exchange Building on Thursday, March 5th. The occasion was the 2015 edition of SCCC’s Grand Giveaway. After last night’s event, I have come to the conclusion that no business entity probably has more fun than the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. May I elaborate? Thanks; here goes.

Around 360 Sarpy Chamber members began arriving at about 5 pm and upon entering, found themselves in a bit of a time machine that took us all back to the 1970’s, complete with tie-dyes, funky wigs and moustaches with everyone enjoying and participating in the fun-loving spirit of the event.

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As 1970’s-era hipsters strolled and sipped punch, they got to examine a ballroom full of great prizes, from big TVs to tents to all manner of services, tickets and other items to bid on in the silent auction.  There were also raffles for gift certificates, tickets to Husker Games, etc. Following cocktail hour, everyone then crossed the hallway to the other ballroom, where we all enjoyed a luscious Brandeis-catered meal with wine from Soaring Wings Vineyard. But the best was yet to come.

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Martie-Cordaro-Sarpy-Disco-crop3 Martie Cordaro pic courtesy Rachel George of The Bellevue Leader

 

After dinner, Emcees Shawn Williams of Bounce U, and Omaha Storm Chasers’ Martie Cordaro ascended to the stage with a pair of Shure wireless mics and began the auction. Between their wigs, leisure suits and funky shades, Sarpy County Chamber members raised the roof and the funds needed to operate the Sarpy Chamber. Shawn and Martie themselves bid on several items too, and it was fun to watch them coax and cajole each other and their fellow members into higher and higher bids.

The climax of the evening followed shortly after the auction concluded, as SCCC board members, in period garb, got down with their bad selves doing some cheesy yet charming choreography to that 70’s disco anthem, the Village People’s “YMCA”. The audience got into the moment, making the “Y”, “M”, “C” & “A” moves with the dancers; quite a sight to behold!

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Midwest Sound and Lighting was proud to be the A/V sponsor of the event. Though the Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom is a big, reverberant hall, folks way in the back heard everything nice and clearly, thanks to the single pair of truly amazing JBL VRX-932 speakers we put on stands in the front corners of the ballroom.

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The Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce is to be congratulated on another very enjoyable evening of fun, fellowship and fundraising. I can’t wait to see what they cook up for next year’s Grand Giveaway. The Sarpy Super Slammin’ Disco will be hard to top!

Your 70’s throwback pal,

John Rogers, Midwest Sound & Lighting

Gross Catholic High School Trivia Night Fund-Raiser Rocks the Gym!

Gross Catholic High School Trivia Night Fund-Raiser Rocks the Gym! Trivia-Night-2015-crowd-at-Gross-Catholic-HS-gym.

The Gross Catholic High School gymnasium was the place to be on Saturday, 2/21/15. Trivia Night has become one of the highlights of the school year, and this year was perhaps the biggest crowd yet. Estimates place attendance at something near 650 fun-loving Gross High supporters who enjoyed tasty fried chicken, sausage & peppers, potatoes au gratin, baked beans, many delicious desserts and several kegs of beer. Another sponsor, Margarita Magic, provided a nearly-endless supply of the frozen concoctions that helped folks hold on to another great night of Gross High School spirit.

Coach Tim Johnk got festivities underway by thanking sponsors and attendees and underscoring the need for such fund-raisers. Trivia Night 2015 was specifically intended to help fund the building of a new weight-training facility, chapel renovation and the installation of turf on the practice field. Such ongoing improvements keep Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School at the very forefront of quality education in the metro.

Gross High alum and popular Husker Buzz/Husker Online personality Sean Callahan emceed Trivia Night as he has done for several years. Nebraska Cornhusker football fans are very familiar with Sean and his sports commentaries; his wit and intimate connection to both the Cougars and the Huskers kept the evening on track and upbeat.

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The trivia categories had something for everyone from sports and classic cars to music to sixth grade math (the toughest category for me). It was fun to hear applause upon a recognizable guitar riff or the brief silence as contestants tried their skills at those sixth grade math problems. Funny, I only got one of those questions right, but I distinctly remember passing the sixth grade…

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Midwest Sound & Lighting was again a proud sponsor of Gross Catholic High School’s Trivia Night. We used a small format Yamaha mixer, Shure wireless microphones and two pairs of phenomenal JBL VRX-932 loudspeakers to ensure that each and every trivia question and guitar riff was heard clearly and without a hint of feedback, even in the noisy and extremely reverberant environment of the Gross High gymnasium.

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Midwest Sound & Lighting congratulates Gross Catholic High School on another fun, exciting and successful Trivia Night. Go Cougars; Dux Esto!

By John Rogers

2015 OEA Sound Design Award goes to Tim Burkhart.

2015 OEA Sound Design Award goes to Tim Burkhart.

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Midwest Sound & Lighting would like to take this opportunity to congratulate one of our own for some recent, well-deserved recognition. The 2015 Omaha Entertainment & Arts Award for Best Sound Design goes to Tim Burkhart for his work on “Ella”, the story of iconic American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.

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The antique Electro-Voice microphone that Tim used for Kathy Tyree now sports a little red lipstick and resides on a shelf of honor next to the vintage RCA ribbon mic Tim used in “Always-Patsy Cline”, another wonderful Omaha Community Playhouse production about another iconic singer.

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Tim last won the OEA Sound Design award for his work on “Batboys”, from the 2009 season. Tim’s got great ears and deserves to hear a hearty “Well Done” for this most recent audio achievement. When Tim designs a sound system, you know that it will sound GREAT!

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Connecting Art with Science since 1979, it’s Midwest Sound & Lighting.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Midwest Sound & Lighting

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Midwest Sound & Lighting installation at Westside Church Omaha.

71,800 Watts of Crown amplification. Thirty JBL line array modules. Six JBL dual 18 VLF cabinets. Twenty two additional fill loudspeakers. A twelve by sixteen matrix of powerful digital signal processing connected to the artists sources through a state of the art Solid State Logic and/or Digidesign digital audio console. Ladies and gentlemen I present you the latest Midwest Sound & Lighting installation at Westside Church Omaha. Worship time is no time to suffer with mediocre sound. It’s all good at Westside. Congratulations!

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Midwest Sound & Lighting audio installation at Westside Church

Soundcheck 4:00 PM Steven Curtis Chapman. Sound guy… “this system is very clean. Rarer yet, It’s on the mark and there’s no end to the headroom. Nice!.” You’re welcome.

Rush Hour Connections at Nebraska Wesleyan University

Rush Hour Connections at Nebraska Wesleyan University

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce held “Rush Hour Connections”, a popular networking event, at the Omaha Campus of Nebraska Wesleyan University on Thursday, November 20, 2014. While enjoying delicious snacks and beverages, Chamber members casually mingled, exchanged cards and enjoyed a relaxing Thursday afternoon.

Diane Poots, Director of Member Services for the Chamber welcomed attendees and Nebraska Wesleyan’s Executive Director, Andrea Butler, spoke of Wesleyan’s mission, drew a few lucky business cards and gave out prizes. All in all, it was a very enjoyable, relaxing networking event and was a great opportunity to learn more about Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to partner with The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce for these events and used a single, one-thousand watt QSC K-12 powered loudspeaker and Shure wireless microphones to ensure attendees heard every word clearly without a hint of feedback.

Happy Thanksgiving; we’ll see everybody at the next networking event.

JR

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Coffee & Contacts at Lauritzen Gardens

Thursday morning October 23rd dawned damp and foggy at Lauritzen Gardens as I loaded-in a sound system for the latest Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce “Coffee & Contacts” networking event. Being a musician and night-owl, I really struggle with early mornings sometimes, but when I’m in such beautiful surroundings, who needs sleep?

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The newly-opened Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens was the site for this event and it is truly a stunning urban oasis under glass. As approximately one hundred Chamber members networked, they enjoyed coffee, juice, fruit and pastry catered by Hap Abraham in the most aesthetic surroundings in town.

Diane Poots, Director, Member Services, welcomed the attendees and Lauritzen Garden’s Jennifer Evans thanked everyone for their time, spoke about the Garden and Conservatory and encouraged all of us to explore the Conservatory. Several lucky Chamber members also won memberships to Lauritzen Gardens in a drawing; valuable prizes indeed!

Again, the Daugherty Conservatory is incredible. To me, it seemed like there were three distinct climates under the glass; I found it wonderful, fragrant and fascinating. In mid-February, when I’m fed up with yet another long Nebraska winter, I think I’ll come back to the Gardens just to get a taste of spring!

Midwest Sound & Lighting was happy to provide crystal-clear audio for this Chamber event, using a pair of QSC K-12 powered speakers, an Allen & Heath mixer and Shure wireless microphones. We congratulate Lauritzen Gardens on their newest major addition, The Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory.

Until next time,

JR/MSL

Sarpy County Awards Banquet 2014

SCCC Awards Banquet

The Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Awards Banquet Thursday evening, October 9th at the LaVista/Embassy Suites Convention Center. Festivities began at 5:30 with cocktails and conversation as attendees began arriving. Awards night is always fun, but as the event’s audio engineer and narrator, I had no idea what was about to go down.

The event immediately shot to another level when self-propelled fireball “enter-trainer” Jimmy Cusano appeared in a colorful zoot suit and began his high-octane presentation out amid the attendees who had been seated for dinner. Jimmy had everyone smiling for his entire performance, which was action-packed and very humorous but laced with much wisdom, common sense, great ideas, encouragement and new perspectives for all of us to consider in our business and personal affairs. He had the ballroom completely engaged and had businessmen in nice suits up dancing (no music, btw), people with their hands held high overhead, clapping, pointing and laughing out loud and hugging attendees that they did not personally know! What a deal!

Jimmy worked the whole ballroom, end to end, and by the time everyone was done standing, sitting, dancing, pointing, clapping, hugging and laughing, he had made lots of good points about the vitality of the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce and the power and influence we have when we work together.

Following Jimmy’s presentation/pep-rally and a delicious meal, the awards ceremony began in earnest. Sarpy County Chamber President Karen Gibler kicked things off and showed a very humorous clip parodying the Pharrel Williams hit “Happy” with some familiar SCCC faces dubbed in; what a hoot! A series of Sarpy County Chamber officials took turns at the podium and several videos were shown by nominees and winners who could not attend in person.

The awards ceremony proceeded smoothly except when yours truly accidentally skipped ahead in the script and began describing a winner who had not yet been announced…but since Jimmy had just emphasized our need to be able to laugh at ourselves, I laughed at myself and went on.

All in all, it was a splendid evening that showcased much of what is so great about Sarpy County and the Chamber of Commerce. Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to partner with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce for these events and we look forward to the next event.

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My office at SCCC Awards Night

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SCCC Awards Night attendees hold hands for Jimmy Caruso

The Catalyst Experience

The Catalyst Experience

The Catalyst Experience

On Thursday, September 4th, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce held a very unique event intended to inform, inspire and educate attendees. From my personal perspective it succeeded in all three. May I elaborate? Thanks; here goes…

Shortly before noon, Chamber members convened in the parking lot at Joslyn Museum for a brief bus ride to the Scoular Ballroom for lunch and an incredible presentation by Rob Quillen. Rob’s fascinating story relates to 9/11, NASCAR, procrastination, our busy lives and the power of helping others’ dreams come true. One could have heard a pin drop in the Scoular Ballroom as Rob recounted the life-changing events of September 10-11, 2001 and beyond. He certainly earned the standing ovation his presentation elicited from the audience.

As the event moved back across the street to Joslyn Museum, we heard powerful, candid stories of personal branding, authenticity, happiness, finding one’s identity and professional calling from Joe Gerstandt. Joe had all of us in the Witherspoon Hall hanging on his every word; more powerful stuff!

Then presenters Oscar Duran, Dave Nelson and Sarah Tucker each shared intimate tales of personal failure and the need for us all to anticipate and embrace such failure, learn and try again. All three speakers brought great insight and inspiration to the group and all were well-chosen for “The Catalyst Experience”.

To wind up this very informative and enjoyable event, attendees ambled outside to hear a live concert by Omaha bands “The 9’s” and “The Last Draft” and partake of the grape and delicious munchies. My favorite pro audio company, Midwest Sound & Lighting, did the audio production for the music and I thought both bands sounded great.

My take-away is:

  1. Don’t wait to do something that’s important to you
  2. Make someone’s dream come true
  3. Find out who you are and what you’re about. Be original; be yourself and be accountable.
  4. Failure is the common denominator of success when married to learning and effort.
  5. Have confidence in yourself and be prepared to learn and grow from failure.
  6. The 9’s and The Last Draw are excellent bands and Midwest Sound & Lighting ROCKS!

That’s my personal summary. I congratulate the Greater Omaha Chamber and encourage them to make The Catalyst Experience an annual event.

Thanks and best wishes,

John Rogers (a.k.a. “J.R”)

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Setup

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Ready to rock and roll!

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MSL’s Donny & Dan at the iPad-controlled Yamaha M7CL digital console

 

 

2013/2014 TAG Award for Sound Design to Burkhart & Gibilisco

Midwest Sound & Lighting’s Tim Burkhart and Omaha Community Playhouse’s John Gibilisco won the 2013/2014 Theatre Arts Guild Award for Sound Design for their incredible work on “Les Misérables.” We are very proud of Tim and congratulate him and John for their masterful, creative use of sound in America’s largest community theater. We are Midwest Sound & Lighting, “Connecting Art with Science” since 1979.

Tim Burkhart

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