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by Gary Carlson
Hello My name is Gary Carlson. I reside in White Bear Lake with my wife Maureen and we have been blessed with three children: Leah, Matthew, and Travis. I began playing piano at Nursing Homes and for Senior Groups in 1980. My musical background was greatly influenced by my mother and father. They played in a band that specialized in many popular tunes from the Gay Nineties to the Big Band Era. I grew up with the sounds of their music at home and when I went away to college, I studied music. I received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Music Education in 1979. My program covers music from the Gay Nineties to Today. I play my own arrangements of music on both the piano and guitar. For Seniors I primarily play the piano and tunes from the Gay Nineties to the Big Band Era. My guitar arrangements have expanded my musicianship, and I turn guitar arrangements into piano arrangements which I use in my Volunteer Piano Playing at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury, Minnesota. I include variety in my programs along with diverse characterizations of the music to give a fresh feeling to old stand-byes such as: Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Moonglow, When Your Smiling… etc for Seniors. My piano playing utilizes improvisational embellishment techniques to enhance music for any occasion. My Acoustic guitar playing has added much to my musical palette. Music from such groups as Lifehouse, Foo Fighters, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Snow Patrol, The Fray, James Taylor, and Cat Stevens, to mention a few, has brought a contemporary freshness to my musicianship. I emphasize Music Especially for you and can play songs across the ages. See Event Details below for a sample song list program, my fee, which is negotiable if you have budget constraints, Contact Info, and a URL or MORE INFO button at the bottom to hear a sample of my singing and playing, Again, I stress diversity in programming and will orchestrate the program that is best for your group.
I emphasize Music Especially for you and can play songs across the ages. Go to this URL for a sample of my playing and singing https://youtu.be/VQf5pujlXyk or CLICK the MORE INFO button below. I entertain in various settings one of which is background piano for Dinner’s which is one of my sweet spots. I set an ambiance with my background playing that people really enjoy. I am also available to do Weddings and can put your photos together in a slide show if needed. I also play piano and sing for Nursing Home/Senior Birthday Parties and have my own sound equipment and instruments that I use. If the piano is in tune at the Facility and sounds good I can play on that, but I want the best sound possible, so I often opt to bring all my equipment.
Here is an example of a typical program of 20 songs in 3 minute increments for Seniors:
Side by Side (opening in Stride Piano Style)
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You
Blue Skirt Waltz
When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Love Me Tender
Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue
Pennies from Heaven
As Time Goes By
Bye Bye Blackbird
Till There Was You
What a Wonderful Road
Fly Me To The Moon
My Wild Irish Rose
By The Light of the Silvery Moon
Georgia on My Mind (Close Stride Piano Style)
My fee for this service is $125.00 per gig but will work with you on the price if you have budget constraints. Again, I stress diversity in programming and will orchestrate the program that is best for your group. I enjoy performing and talking with the people I meet along the way.
In conclusion, I appreciate the opportunity that you may afford me by serving your group in song and relationship. My hope is that the professionalism and care that I afford the music will extend into the hearts of each individual that my music serves.
Cell: 651-285-5356 Home: 651-429-4182
P.S. If you are interested in hearing me live, my Volunteer Piano at Woodwinds Hospital is every Thursday in Woodbury. I play from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. Stop by and take a listen to my playing to get a feel for my musicianship. Feel free to say hello before or after my set or you can call Woodwinds Hospital 651-232-0100 to ask about my piano playing.