RAMI benefit set for March 3

Proceeds from event at Verdi Club benefit Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) will hold its ninth annual spring benefit Saturday, March 3, at the Verdi Club, 782 N. Madison St. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the fun starts at 7 p.m. and continues until 12:30 a.m.

The evening will begin with the MoonDogs, followed by the Missing Links, Clutch Cargo and Big Daddy Woo Woo. Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door, and can be purchased at the Verdi Club, The Postal Shoppe (1643 N. Alpine Rd. or 2205 S. Perryville Rd.), or online at www.ramiawards.com.

Raffles will be held throughout the evening, and will include a $250 gift card from Best Buy, a drum set donated by The Guitar Center, and guitars from Guzzardo’s and Bobby’s on Broadway.

Proceeds raised from this event are applied to the Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship Fund, named for RAMI co-founder and long-time music advocate Gary S. Wilmer. Gary began the Rockford Area Music Industry Awards to offer scholarships for young musicians.

After his death in 1994, memorial contributions were used to establish the scholarship. Awards range from $1,000 to $1,500, and the recipients of the scholarships will be recognized at the Rockford Area Music Industry Awards Thursday, April 12 at Tebala Shrine Temple.

Since 1997, the Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship has awarded more than $30,000 in scholarships. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors in Boone or Winnebago counties pursuing a college major in music performance, education or composition. A letter of nomination from a music teacher must accompany the application. The fund is administered by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. The students are chosen by their academic record, musical ability, and community involvement. To obtain more information about the Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship, go to www.nfnil.org.

If unable to attend the benefit, contributions can be mailed to the Gary S. Wilmer Memorial Scholarship in care of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, 946 N. Second St., Rockford, IL 61104.

Voting for the 2007 RAMIs has begun and will end at midnight March 3. Vote online at www.ramiawards.com.

Following is a list of the nominees per category, including a new category—Cabaret/Broadway. More than 150 musicians, bands and organizations have been nominated for the 2007 awards.

Acoustic Rock—Andy Spitson, Mike Owens, Ron Rainwater

Blues—Barstool Bob Blues Band, Basement Blues Band, Brother K, Steve Ditzell & Blue Lightning Band, Doug Furze, Ernie & the Po’ Boys

Cabaret/Broadway—“My Time With” Dennis Johnson, Broadway Bound, Mike Williamson Trio, Swing Productions

Choral Group—Bach Chamber Choir, Kantorei, Mendelssohn Chorale, River City Sound Chorus, Rock Valley Chorale, Womansong

Christian—Calvary Praise Band, Christian Fellowship Band, Faith Center Praise Band, M28, Sapphire Song, Silver

Classic Rock—Higher Ground, Midnight Hour, Presumed Innocent, Professional Noise, River City Band, The Crunchy Frogs, The Edge, The Newport Project, The Rockford Funk, The Sensations

Classical Ensemble—Kishwaukee Valley Concert Band, Mendelssohn Chorale, Rockford Chamber Players, Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, Rockford College Music Academy, Rockford Wind Ensemble, Rockford Chamber Players Brass Quintet

Classical Instrumentalist—Amanda Asher, Greg Sisler, Katherine Yun, Katie Schultz, Rebecca Asher

Contemporary Jazz—Dean Moriarty Jazz Band, Frank Calvagna & Opan Jii, Laura Bayliss Jazz Trio, Rick Burns & Harlan Jefferson, Salva Mé

Country/Bluegrass—Chip Messiner, Hot Rod Hank & the Hollowbodies, Juelane & Gid-E-Yup, Silver Creek, Southern Heritage, Steve Stapler, Thunderheart

DJ—DJ Hype, DJ Jake the Snake, DJ Tre, Howard Bailey-Murray, Jason Healey, Mark Medina, Spinner, Steve Shannon

Folk/Solo Pop—

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