Live at SSA
I had been asked for years to record a CD with the septet format that I use for festivals and concerts…We went into the studio and started recording but it lacked the excitement that we get performing in front of an audience …So the next step was to record live at a concert or a festival like the French Quarter Festival or the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, then came an opportunity to record live at a concert for Saint Scholastica Academy… The auditorium had good acoustics, and that’s all we needed…I was performing this concert at the request of my granddaughter, Kathryn Schneider, to benefit the music and drama departments of Saint Scholastica Academy. A real coup was when they asked if it would be okay for the choir to sing in the foyer during the intermission… that’s when I said to myself, “I used a choir when I performed Amazing Grace at the Papal Mass for Pope John Paul II”…Soooo, I decided to use the choir on Amazing Grace. To say that they were great would be a real understatement, but I’ll let you be the judge.
There are high energy arrangements like Chariots of Fire, the Theme from the Titanic, and my New Orleans Legends Medley, which requires my horn section, especially with the high note trumpet playing of Barney Floyd, and the driving drums of Lloyd Cambre to make them really shine. So now you have that evening’s complete show on these two CDs…All of the fun things that went on were left in, and hopefully you’ll be able to feel the excitement of the Ronnie Kole Show, live in concert at Saint Scholastica Academy in the comfort of your living room.
The hardest part of recording a concert live is you only have one chance at getting it right. I must say that the wonderful “Ears” of my step-son, Chris Schneider, who is a brilliant recording engineer, makes listening to this CD as exciting as being there in person. His son, Morrow Schneider, capably assisted him. Chris did a masterful job of editing out all the wasted time, as well as balancing the mix down. Listening to the test CD; I had the feeling I that I was back in the concert hall all over again…splendid job, Chris.
I have to compliment my musicians, Lloyd Cambre-drums, Bob Sunda-bass, Barney Floyd-trumpet, Jeff Albert-trombone, and Chris Summer on sax and, clarinet…All did a super job…
Last, but not the least, my admiration for Sharon Scharmer, the music director, who had the choir singing so wonderfully that I became very emotional, and broke down and cried after performing Amazing Grace…And that happened to me again when we repeated it as an encore at the end of Concert…Super job, Sharon, and, of course, the girls in the choir.
Saint Scholastica Academy has so much to be proud of, their staff and the volunteers, too numerous to mention, who were a real joy to work with, as well as working out all the details for this concert…For all of you, heartfelt thanks, and let’s do it again.
None of this would be possible without my dearest friend, constant companion and wife, Gardner Kole…Merci Beaucoup my Love…
1. New Orleans Medley
2. Send in the Clowns
3. R.K.’s Boogie
4. Frank Sinatra Medley
5. Sweet Georgia Brown
6. My Favorite Pianists’ Styles
7. Over the Rainbow
8. Dark Eyes
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1. New Orleans Legends Medley
2. Theme from Titanic
4. Voodoo Moon
5. Chateau Gloria
6. Chariots of Fire
8. Amazing Grace (encore)