Rockestra was born in my family room on a Sunday night in the spring of 2004. I was watching a DVD of the English band 'Yes' performing with an orchestra. I said to myself, "I think we have the talent to do that right here in Sioux City, Iowa", and after much hard work, here we are. I almost quit before we got started. Critics and friends alike said it wouldn't work. The first Rock Orchestra ever- in Sioux City!?- Never. Rock musicians playing alongside symphony players? Are you crazy? I was crazy, but I pushed on.
During the summer, I called 41 musicians to play- 40 of them said yes. Not one of them had seen a note of music (there wasn't any yet, it was all in my head). I asked KOOL 99.5 to be a media sponsor and Morningside College allowed us the use of Eppley Auditorium. Our first season was underway with a concert on November 5, 2004.
During the first season we featured many talented vocalists and guest performers, paid tribute to some of the great Rock and Roll legends and concluded with the Siouxland Youth Chorus joining us in May 2005, complete with their KISS make-up. It was during this first season that we began to discover and piece together all the elements that have now become part of an exciting Rockestra performance.
During the second season, we upgraded our sound system and moved the the Castle Auditorium. Our audiences grew, the orchestra became tighter and we added new vocalists. We played concerts with themes of the 'British Invasion' and 'Mostly Motown'. We capped the season by performing for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry at the Orpheum Theatre in June. It was a wonderful experience.
During the 2006-2007 Season, we set a goal to sell-out the Castle-- and we did-- twice! With concerts featuring the themes of 'Spaghetti on the Wall', 'Southern Fried Rock' and 'Salute to the 60's' we soared to new and greater heights. TV station KPTH joined us as a media sponsor, our volunteer organization grew, and we began to attract fans from a 250 mile radius. It was a very successful season indeed.
The 2007-2008 Season was a season of change. Our move to the Orpheum Theatre was perhaps the biggest change of the season. The Orpheum provides better acoustics, more seating, convenient parking and a comfortable atmosphere for all to enjoy. We featured a tribute to the 'Supergroups', 'Back in Black' and 'God Save the Queen'. Also during the 2007-2008 season we began preparing our concert recordings for a DVD, which has recently been released, The end of Season IV brought about a lot of excitement as we officially launched our education program, Rockestra Jr. and managed to pull off a spectacular May concert under the direction of Stephanie Irish, as I had quadruple bypass surgery just 22 days prior to our May concert.
As we embarked on season V, we had settled into the Orpheum Theatre and anticipated that it would be the most exciting season to date. The Concert schedule included "Songs of the 70's', 'The Best of Rockestra', and 'Hits from Hollywood'