May 5, 2014

Model A Restorers Club National Membership Meet:

     St. Louis MARC members were planning to host their national meeting at The Hilton in St. Louis at Frontenac in 2014 and expressed interest in live music entertainment. The parameters were that the music had to be from the 1930's and 1940's with relevance to autos if possible.

     The Matt McCallie Orchestra has plenty of music from both decades so coming up with a song list was simple. But there was a huge challenge; their budget was only able to comfortably cover the cost of one musician, maybe two if no amplification was provided.

     The band was made aware in advance that the gig would have considerably lower pay than usual. Thanks to their willingness to be flexible we were able to provide a most impressive 18 piece orchestra. Don and Peggy McCallie, who are also MARC members, donated enough funds to pay most of the musicians one third of their usual earnings.

     Scott and Leah Villmer similarly contributed their time and effort as roadies and photographers. Their assistance was crucial in setting up and tearing down the stage and their artistic skills helped document the event. Most of the images in this blog deserve their credit with editing by Matt McCallie.

     As always the director accepted no pay to give as much as possible to the musicians who generously put in their time for much less than they typically require. Some of our musicians departed due to this but we hope we gained a couple hundred fans that day.

     A list of songs from other decades was sent to the band before the show. A response with a list of songs that met the previously stated requirements that the band had been preparing was sent in return that ultimately satisfied the clients. Our setlist is below. Italicized titles indicate songs that engaged strings in addition to our big band.