March 5, 2013
Things keep getting better. I believe that. Especially when I get on stage with Team Starlight. I was inspired to repost an article written several years ago. It was true then but it is even more true now. Since it is always hard to find way to present and express what Starlight is about, these words do a good job of painting the picture…
” It was another amazing event, another night where I look around and see people joyful, smiling, dancing, celebrating, being exuberant, loving life, letting loose, going wild! And next to me I see the world’s best performers and musicians with the most astounding charisma, passion, talent; the energy rising in swirls, tangible and enlightening, enlivening. The thing that is so hard to describe, to get across to people, is that there is TRULY NOTHING LIKE THIS PRODUCT IN THE WHOLE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT! Where can you find a performance so exciting, so polished and sharp and yet still organic and flexible, THAT IS COMPLETELY GEARED FOR PRIVATE EVENTS? Talent of this magnitude is usually reserved for touring headline acts; Rod Stewart or Diana Krall doing cool jazz standards with a stage full of trumpets, trombones and saxes; Black Eyed Peas with their different characters presenting their “positive hip-hop” dance hits; Lady Gaga or Madonna whose shows include awesome backup singers/dancers; Bon Jovi rocking out their old and new, Beyonce, Jay-Zee, Alicia Keys, whose shows feature the best of their material with strong backline support and many guest surprises; and the always favorite Earth, Wind and Fire who energize the stage and dazzle crowds with their heartfelt song and expressive dance. You can find those acts on arena stages throughout the world, but what you can’t find anywhere is an ensemble that delivers all of that music AND MORE, performed in a similar style with the same kind of STAR POWER, but that will customize the repertoire for each and every event; can down-play, up-play, down-size, can segueway seamlessly like the best DJ, gliding between genres in a unprecedented way; reading the crowd and switching gears, intuitively designing the play-list IN MOTION to deliver the material that is perfect for this audience, this night, in this moment. No filler songs, no monologues, just song after song, energy building and mounting, all within the parameters of music for a private party. Not a show, not a concert, just truly the World’s Best Party Band, The Starlight Experience. Once you have seen this live, it all makes sense. But words cannot describe it, videos will not capture it, testimonials do not do it justice. The comments might make it sound like it is “too much,” or “over the top,” or “a show not a band…” but people who have actually experienced this product NEVER say that! It is just the Best of the Best, time and time again.
I am gratified when we are in different cities and we work with various producers, event planners, booking agents, and people always say, “There is really nothing like this product anywhere!” It is so true, and I am excited for even more people to know this; Starlight has created an entertainment concept that is unparalleled and unrivaled, bridging the worlds of Live Music for Private Events and Headline Entertainment. It is for those discerning clients that want to present something astounding, within the parameters of what is sensible and appropriate for a private event.
“Hi Starlight! There are no words to explain the night – NO WORDS – because I listened to Valerie’s suggestions, the music (other than the bride and groom), was talked about the most! You will absolutely be getting calls, but what they won’t realize is that all the extras made it more than “just a band” and therefore, over the top, in the best way!! Clintons will never know what they missed – Greenbergs will never forget what they had!! Thank u so much!
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February 16, 2013
Read People Magazine’s coverage of Preston and Theo’s spectacular Valentine’s Day wedding, with music by Starlight!
Wedding planner to the stars Preston Bailey finally got the wedding of his dreams when, just after midnight on Valentine’s Day, he tied the knot in an over-the-top ceremony with Theo Bleckmann.
Bailey, 63, whose list of glamorous clients includes Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Catherine Zeta-Jones, pulled out all the stops for his own nuptials with his partner of seven years. On the top floor of the Empire State Building, in a ceremony officiated by dear friend Joan Rivers – who got ordained online for the occasion – the couple married in a dazzling King Kong-themed extravaganza.
“We love the imagery of the films but King Kong has a tragic ending,” says Bailey. “We wanted to create a happy ending.”
Joan Rivers marries Preston Bailey and Theo Bleckmann
Upon reaching the top of the skyscraper, guests were greeted by a King Kong statue covered in flowers. Attendees including Martha Stewart and NeNe Leakes (Bailey is planning the Real Housewives of Atlanta star’s upcoming nuptials to ex-husband Gregg) were then led toward the ceremony down a flower-festooned hallway that had been set up like an art gallery, featuring personal photos of their own weddings.
“As we were planning, it felt like, ‘me, me, me, me,’ ” says Bleckmann, 47, of that touch. “So we thought, how can we extend the feeling of love and make it inclusive for everyone?”
To make sure guests unaccustomed to staying up all night would have the energy to party ’til dawn, Bleckmann says, “We’re giving them as much coffee and chocolate as possible!” And plenty of champagne, of course.
Once guests were seated, Rivers made her way down the aisle and then a curtain parted to reveal Bleckmann singing “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Next came Bailey’s entrance.
As guests turned around to see him, there appeared a 12-ft.-tall sculpture of a bridal gown that had been custom created by designer and guest Reem Acra. What looked to be Bailey dressed as a “bride” was in fact a body double – as evidenced when Bailey himself emerged from inside the sculpture, wearing a custom Reem Acra tuxedo.
“It was important to us to create very strong memorable moments that mean something,” says Bailey. Immediately after the ceremony, punctuated by the Jewish tradition of breaking a wine glass (Rivers’s idea), the after-party kicked off to the sounds of Starlight Orchestras.
“Sitting down for the boring dinner never appealed to me,” says Bailey. “So Theo and I thought, Let’s have a midnight wedding. And then we’ll have this hot, fabulous after party and celebrate until 6 o’clock tomorrow morning.”
As guests departed, they were gifted with a mini-bottle of Chandon sparkling wine and a chocolate heart in honor of Valentine’s Day, packaged to perfection by Martha Stewart and her staff.
“It’s really great to have Martha here,” says Bailey. Did her presence add to the pressure that every detail had to be just so? “The answer,” says Bailey, “is 100 percent yes.”
Preston Bailey, with NeNe Leakes and Cynthia Bailey
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February 13, 2013
I am so excited to be a part of my dear friend Preston Bailey’s wedding this week. We have been working together on incredibly fabulous weddings and events for almost 20 years, and the time has come for Preston and Theo to tie the knot themselves. They have planned the most incredible evening, with many surprises that will be shared after the wedding on Valentine’s Day. I cannot share any details yet, except to say the wedding will take place at the stroke of midnight on February 14th (how utterly romantic!) at the Empire state Building (how utterly fantastic!)
In customizing music to underscore a wedding ceremony, we always consider many personal details about our couple; their history as individuals and who they are together. With Preston being an artist and event designer, and Theo being a world renown vocalist and performance artist, the stakes were higher and the challenge greater to choose music for creating monumental moments.
We are having the pleasure of collaborating with some of Theo’s incredibly talented friends who are composing, arranging, performing and singing special numbers throughout.
I am also excited to work with Joan Rivers, and to be interviewed for the various television shows that will be covering the wedding.
One of the reasons I love my business so much is because we use music to make people’s dreams come true.
My favorite part of all this has been spending lots of creative time with Preston, and also getting to know his darling Theo. My heart is soaring as we are just days away from making their dreams come true. How super special when we get to do this for such dear friends!
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February 11, 2013
When we got the news on Thursday that all flights were canceled from all New York airports, we wondered how we would get to our performance in Palm Beach for the Cleveland Clinic Florida Ball! Our clients were counting us to really rock their night, and to create a very unique celebration from the many other charity galas that their crowd was used to. What to do? Well, we did make it, but not before an incredible journey. Here is a letter I wrote to my team this morning.
Hello Dear StarPeeps,
Before we go on to talk about this week’s items and events, I want to THANK EVERY-ONE FOR the amazing group effort getting STARLIGHT to Palm Beach before the storm!
All the chaos started Thursday around 2 PM, and by Sunday afternoon at 2 PM, 73 HOURS LATER, we were BACK IN NEW YORK, having performed a successful gig and accomplished a near-miracle. Thanks to EVERYONE for all your help in making this happen.
I just can’t believe WE DID IT I can’t believe how much you all put into making sure we got to our GIG. Everyone in our office and in our band and crew were absolute ANGELS, and I am so grateful to you all!!!
Maria presided over the office staff in talking to every different airline to try to get us out on any available flight. To no avail! Our office was like the WAR ROOM with every phone blazing and buzzing, people on speaker phone, emails flying back and forth, it was like being on the floor of the stock exchange, “I’ve got 2 seats at 9 AM with a 4 hour layover in Chicago, we can get the crew on that one, going for $500 each…should I take it… the cost is now $1000, should I…oh wait, it is now $3000. Oops, the flight is GONE” Maria, Katie, Dennis and Steve, all on different lines for 5 hours doing that!
Susan on the phone with the bus company organizing a trip with two drivers, to leave at 3 AM from our office, while I texted, emailed, phoned and tried to get in contact with 18 band members to drop what they were doing, pack their bags (with pillows and pajamas), and leave a day early!!
Dennis filled the bus with best snacks, goodies and cases of water, Katie with sandwiches, which kept us going all the way through!
Steve managed to get the gear we needed, get home, and still be back in the office to load the bus. Daniel rushed to the city to join us.
Every musician and performer reworked several days of their life in order to accommodate this trip, leaving cars on the street, not knowing how much snow would be piled on top when we returned.
Thanks to CHARLES for picking up our travel manager duties, and to Vaios and Myoshi for handling other administrative-related responsibilities. I told Chioma and Erin that the more challenging the situation, the more they “step-up” and set an example of positive energy throughout. Maria worked all weekend behind the scenes to get us rerouted on a flight home.
I want to thank dear TONY for always being the FIRST ONE to respond to any message (text, mail or otherwise) and accept any request! And to Don for always tracking along with the details and offering his experience and insight wherever needed. Thanks to Ramon for handling all the last minute technology and coming to the office to update all the IPads and rework the software to accommodate.
Kevin came straight to the bus after finishing a whole gig! Chioma got a sub for her Thursday night gig IN ADVANCE of my even asking. Vaios left one of our dance rehearsals and came right to the bus. YSL, Mike, Ryan P, Tatum, Calvin, Tatum all moved heaven and earth to make it happen…. Amanda and Darin trekked from NY to Chicago to Palm Beach and rooted for us to get there. Thanks to Dante for joining us from Miami and slipping into that slammin’ horn section. I am sure I forgot something, so thank you to all for all the little things that helped make it all go smoothly. And please feel free to write back and tell me any other interesting details I might have left out.
I want to say a few words about being on the bus for 22 hours. If I ever had to be withANYONE for all those hours cooped up in a bus, it would be with my band mates!!
I love all of you guys so much. I am so appreciative that everyone had such a good attitude and brought positive spirits aboard. It really could have been worse. And speaking of spirits, the 15 bottles of wine I brought did not hurt the mood at all!!
My highlight of the bus trip was the TEAM GAME we played for hours on Friday afternoon. Thanks YSL for bringing it. I feel that I got to know everyone even that much better by pairing up and doing a charades-like trivia game. I can’t think of when I laughed so hard, or had so much fun.
Finally getting to sunny, balmy South Florida was quite a change from the freezing weather we left in New York, and the storm we drove through in Maryland and Virginia. Once we got off the bus, we were THERE! Our clients were so appreciative, they left gift bags and love notes for each of us at the hotel, with homemade cookies and treats.
Performing at the gorgeous Mar-A-Lago on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean was breathtaking. The folks at the Cleveland Clinic raised over a million dollars that night, and Starlight’s praises were sung throughout the country. I owe it to all of you for your determination, professionalism, as well as the joy you bring to each of our performances. I was sad that we missed our “traditional” Friday night dinner party, but was glad to share pizza and drinks after working so hard at the event.
I must say, I was never so happy to get on an airplane, as on Sunday morning.
So thank you all so much!
Here are my new hashtags:
Please post any photos you took during our trip! I have photos coming soon from Sarah, our photographer in Florida.
Also, here is what our clients printed on the notes in our goodie bags.
“Dear Starlight Stars,
Welcome to sunny Palm Beach!
We are so glad that you have arrived safely.
Thank you for making the effort to get here to perform at the Cleveland Clinic Florida Ball.
We look forward to a DAZZLING evening!
Sydell Miller and Lauren Spilman”
Thanks again, my Starlight VIPeeps!,
from : Myoshi
You all are a pretty amazing group of folks. I kept saying “This is all so crazy!” And it was! I agree with Valerie. I can’t imagine doing that trip with anyone else and having it be so much fun. After the long trip, everyone brought their A game and we rocked that party. Watching the ladies in their gorgeous gown doing the Gangnam Style dance was worth it alone!
Thanks to everyone for making it happen! I’m happy to be a Member of StarFam!
Love you guys!
It was a blast getting to work and hang with you all. That bus ride was certainly one for the ages and it was a pleasure to play with a band of such talented and professional cats.
I have to say, I was absolutely touched and honored by the level of enthusiasm and commitment displayed by every single person on this e-mail. It’s such a reward to work with people who care so much about their work but also each other. I think that’s what makes the Starlight so special and magical on stage—thank you to all of you for everything that you do!
Well, I don’t know where to start . Here goes, thank you for all that you did to pull this off. Above and beyond for sure. Also thanks for doing your very best, as always , to make each and every one of us as comfortable as possible during our trek. Many more good things will come from your efforts, I am sure. Also, thanks for making my part of this journey as good as it could possibly have been. You deserve all the best and I hope that I can continue to bring it full throttle to help you , and us accomplish your musical and professional goals.
There,….. Now I’ll shut uppp!
Luv you, T
Thank you for making decisions that had to be made – and for CHOOSING to ride with us down . I know for me personally it really meant a lot to have you with us , and felt awesome to endure that ride together . This group of individuals is the most elite I’ve ever encountered this far , and it’s an honor be aside all of you – bus -train -car -plane- heck – lets shoot for a private boat – with extended docking next time ! LoL. – your all brilliant people. And I got mad love for my #Starfam !
Cheers to another Successful gig !
Starlight Orchestra backstage at Mar-A-Lago
February 7, 2013
It is so gratifying to see our weddings featured in magazines, with images from the most wonderful photographers. Manhattan weddings are so special, and Cipriani 42nd Street is quite a magnificent venue. Check out the link below for the article in Style Me Pretty with pictures by Ira Lippke, and event planner Michelle Knopman.
What an incredible wedding and a magical night. Starlight provided the music and we went all out to create the “rock concert feel” that this bride and groom wanted. We listened to their ideas, their loves, their fantasies, and then blended it all together to create an exciting tapestry of music and celebration. We totally surprised them (and ourselves!) with the remarkable rendition of ROSALITA right after their first dance. (When I learned how much they loved Bruce, I made sure to bring a performer who could really nail that style. Another surprise!)
My favorite photo was of our bride and groom (Staci & Paul) up on stage, rockin with the band. You might notice that Paul is wearing the necklace of one of our rappers! Check out the expression on our performer’s face on the right. It is priceless!
We had such fun at this wedding, and we love working with Ira Lippke, the folks at Cipriani, and MSK! As always, a big thanks to Style Me Pretty for including Starlight!
Tweets & Raves
@SMP_LBB We are so thrilled about this, thanks for the feature!
@IRALIPPKESTUDIO thank you for the amazing photos of my wedding featured on @stylemeprettytodayhttp://www.stylemepretty.com/2013/02/06/nyc-wedding-at-ciprianis-from-ira-lippke-studios/ …
From event planner Michelle Knopman September 23, 2012
To: Valerie Romanoff
Hi Valerie, Thank you, thank you, thank you for an absolutely wonderful evening. They were beyond thrilled!
From the Mother of the Bride
Sent: Monday, September 24, 2012
Omg they were amazing. I had no idea. Staci loved them, so I was ok with whatever she wanted. They blew me away! Everyone danced and I did hop on stage for a song. Believe it or not I’m now planning the next daughter’s wedding and they have to be the band. Thanks so much.
Sent from my iPhone
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January 16, 2013
NEW YORK, NY – January 16, 2013 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, is thrilled to announce that Starlight Orchestras has been selected as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® 2013 for wedding bands in New York City. The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Starlight’s selection as a Bride’s Choice Award 2013 winner was selected based on the positive experiences expressed by past clients on WeddingWire, the world’s largest wedding review site with over one million reviews. While many industry awards are given by the host organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Starlight Orchestras.
The WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® 2013 are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on professional achievements from the previous year. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients. As a Bride’s Choice Awards winner, Starlight Orchestras is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.
“Each year, WeddingWire looks forward to celebrating the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Now in its fifth year, the Bride’s Choice Awards® program continues to recognize the elite wedding professionals who exemplify a commitment to quality, service and professionalism. These businesses were chosen by our bridal community for their responsiveness and dedication to their clients over the past year. We are honored to recognize Starlight Orchestras for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”
Starlight Orchestras is thrilled to be one of the top wedding bands in New York, NY in the WeddingWire Network of sites, which include leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards® for 2013.
For more information about Starlight Orchestras, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at:
This press release was distributed by prleap.com
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December 14, 2012
- STARLIGHT AT THE MANDARIN-ORIENTAL
Having just gotten back from Engage!12, the Luxury Wedding Business Summit, I was so excited to bring a new enthusiasm to the stage for last night’s performance. Every year we do two events for the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital: one is a fundraising gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The other is their staff holiday party at the Mandarin-Oriental, both in New York City. Last night, my band-mates and I were incredibly pumped for this event, and couldn’t wait to perform all of the new contemporary songs we learned for them. It is an incredible experience to feel as though you continue to reach new highs, and even more gratifying to share this with each other.
I want to thank everyone involved in the Starlight team for helping to create such a magical experience.
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December 13, 2012
People are always looking for interesting and meaningful music for their wedding ceremonies. Starlight offers an unparalleled experience of music selection, as well as finely executed delivery.
Our “Starlight Custom Ensemble” division organizes the perfect complement of instruments and musicians. Claudia Wigent, director of the custom groups, works closely with our clients to handpick each and every selection for prelude, processional and recessional. Many hours are spent in consulation and preparation.
Here are some interesting programs we created this fall.
||Albert and Alain
||Simple and beautiful
||Gabriels’ Oboe (The Mission by Morricone)
||Hornpipe (Watermusic by Handel)
||Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
|5 Piece Ensemble
||harp, 2 violins, sax/clarient, oboe
||Jessica and Jason
||They love Opera music
||Toreador Song (Carmen- by Bizet)
||Nessun Dorma (Turandot by Puccini)
||Libiami (La Traviata by Verdi)
||Eb Nocturne (by Chopin)
||Prelude ( Carmen- by Bizet)
|6 Piece Ensemble
||Harp, 2 violins, cello, oboe, upright bass
||Elyse and Andrew
|Maid of Honor
||Chasing cars (Snow Patrol)
||I Won’t Give Up (Jason Mraz)
|4 Piece Ensemble
||Violin, cello, oboe, piano
At Starlight we love creating a special wedding ceremony experience that embodies the heart and spirit of our brides and grooms.
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December 1, 2012
“Orange you glad you went to Engage!12?”
Yes I am! What an amazing time I had at the Breakers this week. For me, Engage! is always a whirlwind of activities, ideas, outfits, introductions, inspiration, and PARTIES!
There is learning, sharing, connecting, dancing, dining, and a lot of loving. Really, I find Engage! to be one big love-fest. The joy begins with Rebecca and Kathryn’s warm approach to the planning of this unique event. The branding materials that they create with their partners really do touch your heart and set the stage for a buoyant, uplifting experience.
I have gleaned priceless information about our industry and how to further develop my own business. I have solidified connections with colleagues I knew from afar. I have experienced many different people through their candid and heartfelt speeches. And I have had the joy of making wonderful new friends.
Part of what makes Engage! so special is the spirit in which everyone arrives. It is clear that we all come to seek and to share. People are open. People are smiling. People are happy.
This Engage! was especially fun for me, as there were so many people from our New York City wedding community. We work together so often and see each other mostly in the throes of our events. It was fun to play and party with everyone (Ed, Marcy, David, Sylvia, Harriette, Leslie, Arthur, Andy, Brian, Peter, Emily, Sean, Janet, Bob.)
A special thanks to Joan, Kym and Jeff for the breathtaking hospitality. It was all amazing, and the LOVE FILLED room for the gala dinner was beyond-the-beyond. It was truly a privilege to be on the receiving end of such graciousness. (I am usually performing while at the Breakers, and often don’t see these details.)
Highlights of the event for me were:
*Hearing Ed Libby speak about our magnificent collaboration on a wedding this past October.
*Choice words of advice from Peter Callahan .
*Meeting Walt Shepard and Art Scangas and learning that they will be featuring several of our events in Inside Weddings.
*All the orange!
*Learning that I have my first gig with Todd Fiscus this April in Oklahoma!
*Something special for which I will always be grateful to Arthur Backal.
*Being there to help Leslie Mastin kick off her new endeavor.
*Sitting next to Bryan Rafanelli at dinner and getting to talk his ear off.
*Spending time with my “Engage! BFF” Amy Zaroff. (We started coming to Engage! at the same time and have done many wonderful events together since then. Rock on, sister!)
*Learning that Simon T. Bailey and I are kindred spirits. I do agree that we create our own reality from a spiritual perspective, and it was great to hear him talk about it.
*The delicious hug I got from Heather and Nathan’s little boy!
*Hearing over and over that I should be charging rightly for the unique service I provide.
*Finding that Marcy Blum and I had hours to chat and visit while at the airport going home.
*Lastly, being a part of the wonderful Engage! community and engaging with everyone who was there. Thanks to you all!
Link to Engage!12 Photos
Link to Engage!12 Video Recap Day 1
Link to Engage!12 Video Recap Day 2
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October 19, 2012
Happy Fall, everyone! I am filled with great excitement and exuberance for this season’s events; both at home in New York as well as around the country. I believe that parties are good for the soul, whether we are gathering to raise money for important causes or we are joining in celebration of our happiest times. Parties make us feel good, bring us together, and create a context for us to experience our jubilant nature. And how much fun is it to let loose on the dance floor, especially with an amazing live band pumping out the music? At Starlight, we consider it our job to create the most perfect environment for each crowd on each given night. That means being ready, willing and able; ready to deliver the music that will motivate, willing to read the cues of the crowd, and ABLE to present the most dazzling, powerful, entertaining and satisfying live music experience anywhere on earth!
Every event is different, and we challenge ourselves to bring something unique and fresh every performance. From galas honoring Central Park in New York City to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, we are honored to bring some Starlight magic to our clients’ special events. I am about to pack up my guitars and head into the city where Starlight will be performing for about a dozen events in the next week. Updates and photos to come!
Here We Go!
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