We are still smiling and can’t stop talking about the wonderful time we and a couple hundred other seniors had last Sunday, Aug. 21, at Veterans’ Memorial Hall when the Bill Engberg Orchestra played their famous ballroom music “one last time.” We are so grateful the 90-year-old longtime band member, Vito D’Angelo, suggested this happen and for the dogged efforts of John Russell, of WTPB, to find a place where it could happen.
Scott Lewandowski, manager of Veterans’ Memorial Hall, is to be commended for providing such a wonderful venue for a dance. He certainly generated a lot of good will and exposure for his hall as the turnout of seniors was tremendous. Sunday, from 2 until 5 p.m. is ideal for seniors, and it would be great if somehow it could be repeated and turned into a paying proposition. Certainly, the interest in ballroom music is there, both for the dancers and the listeners.
Mark Rose, Rock Valley College band director, did an outstanding job leading the orchestra, highlighting each of the players, and every one of them was top-notch. Angie Fellows, coordinator of Rockford’s Senior Follies, who agreed to be vocalist for the afternoon, added just the right touch of nostalgia. They were such a professional orchestra, and we are so grateful to them for agreeing to play. We just can’t believe they were any better in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.
Both Rose and Russell provided a friendly commentary and atmosphere to make everyone feel welcome and included. It was billed as a “no frills event,” but it is one that we will long remember and continue to wish that somehow it could be repeated again … and again.
OK, how about just one more time?
From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2011, issue