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Randy Kramer
Under the Rock

September 2015
A Thank You Letter to all Rockestra Fans
The Final Season

Dear fans,

This is a sad time for all us – fans, players, singers, and supporters – because this coming Rockestra season will be the final bell for our group.  We have had 11 great seasons and we’ll go out a winner after an even dozen. It has been a great ride!

The main reason for our  “folding the tent” is that it has simply gotten too expensive to continue. Having a 40-piece group that plays in the Orpheum is a costly proposition, and we cannot continue without slipping into a deficit situation. We have been met with the ”perfect storm” of financial problems.  Although not impossible, we realize that it would be difficult to turn things around going forward.

Although many of us are indeed feeling low about the turn of events, we also have reason to celebrate.  We have invented a new genre of music – the professional Rock & Roll Orchestra!  We were the first one of its kind in the United States.  And, there are only two others now (that I know of), one in Colorado – started by a former Sioux City musician, and one in Las Vegas

There are many more facets of our tenure that we could brag about - we were the biggest drawing local attraction of all time in Sioux City, with nearly 1000 subscribers and an average attendance of over 2000 for each show, for several seasons.   We became an iconic group for the area, becoming a beacon for the cultural life of Siouxland, and a wonderful source of pride among our followers.
And, we were inducted into the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012!  Add to these accomplishments our performance in front of 25,000 people at Ragbrai plus our performances at the Iowa State Fair and we have a very impressive resume! 

I want to thank each and every person who has attended a Rockestra Show.  And, a special salute and thanks to those who have been with us since our first concert in Eppley Auditorium in 2004.  And, to you subscribers, we could not have done it without you!  You attend our shows, and you become familiar with our songs and our personnel!  We could not ask for better or more loyal fans. Also, we give sincere thanks to our sponsors and financial supporters.  You were the straw that stirred the drink and we appreciate your generosity more than you will ever know.

A huge vote of thanks goes to all the players and singers who have graced the Rockestra stage, I thank you – with tears of joy.  Without each and every one of you, who work so hard for so little money, the idea of the nation’s first professional Rock & Roll Orchestra would have remained a dream.

I also want to thank the many volunteers who have served Rockestra over the years. 
The videos, the marketing, the music library, the social media, and the merchandise do not get done by magic.  This work gets done by a dedicated staff of wonderful people who believe in Rockestra and what we do for our community.   I want them all to know that I also believe in them.

Before ending, I want to thank my wife, Shirley, and son, Michael, who both have put up with me during all these years.  Being a wife and son to a musician – even if you are one also – is not always easy.  My hat is off to them.

All of us connected with Rockestra want you to know that we are doing everything to insure that this coming 2015-16 season is our best ever.  I hope that you will be with us as we give the people of Siouxland a glorious and fitting final salute.

With all my heart, again, I thank you. 

Dr. John E.  Luebke
Founder and Music Director
Sioux City Rockestra