Remembering Frank: Friend of local arts

The RAMI Steering Committee wishes to offer their condolences to the family and many friends of Frank Schier. The local music community – in fact, the entire local arts scene – as well as those working to restore and preserve the region’s resources and scenic beauty have lost a great ally with Frank’s untimely passing.  

As a co-founder of the RAMI Awards, Frank played a pivotal role as our organization evolved from the informal, ad hoc group that staged the modest inaugural ceremony 26 years ago into a promoter of numerous music events that support the five college and Rockford Music Academy scholarships that the RAMIs award annually.  

If I had to choose one adjective to describe Frank it would it would have to be “passionate”. Whether he was advocating for the arts, the environment, the River District or berating some governmental snafu, Frank was normally “all in” and not prone to a lot of equivocating. In my dictionary, the antonym of Frank Schier is “half-assed”.

This of course led to Frank having a lot of personal and professional relationships that were highly contentious. Some of my fondest memories from my nearly 30-year relationship with Frank came from the days when the RAMI Committee would meet upstairs at Canova’s Restaurant. On multiple occasions the owner sent a member of his wait staff up to our table and asked Frank and I to “put a sock in it” because our “deliberations” were disturbing the live entertainment going on downstairs… and Frank and I were on the same side!

Frank, your friends and probably a lot of your enemies will miss that passion. The community will surely miss your voice.

Godspeed knucklehead.

–Bruce Hammond and the RAMI committee; photo by CiJay Pikula

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