Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oracle Band Opens Montpelier Mansion Summer Concert Series on Friday

Don't forget that this Friday Oracle will be opening the Montpelier Summer Concert Series on the grounds of Montpelier Mansion in Laurel Maryland.

Situated on the grounds of the stately Montpelier Mansion, just off Route 197 near the Baltimore Washington Parkway, the Montpelier Concert Series makes for an enjoyable evening under the stars.  Bring a picnic dinner, a blanket or lawn chair, (there are no benches or anything else to sit on), and especially remember bring the kids, grandkids, nieces & nephews, because this show is geared towards kids from 8 to 80.

The kids that come out to Oracle concerts are always
mesmerized by the band, and they typically know
the words to all the songs, so they sing right along with the band!

We highly recommend coming a little early to take advantage of the opportunity to walk the grounds of the mansion.  The gardens are beautiful, and the architecture of the mansion itself really is something to see.

 The concert gets underway at 7:30 and we play up to 9:30.   It is free and open to the public.

Directions to Montpelier Mansion Concert

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oracle Band Upcoming Outdoor Concert Performances

The warm months of summer are here, even though it's still technically Spring.  The arrival of the warm weather also announces the arrival of the outdoor concert season for Oracle.

This year we have a total of three outdoor summer concerts planned, all in the Laurel area.

Oracle Returns For 3rd Straight Year To Montpelier

The first of these concerts is coming up on Friday, June 24th, as we open the Montpelier Mansion Concert Series for the third year in a row.

Situated on the grounds of the stately Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, Montpelier has hosted such luminaries as George Washington and Abigail Adams (FLOTUS, wife of John Adams).  The concert location is on a beautiful hillside just below the mansion itself. 

Bring a blanket or lawn chair...there is nothing else to sit on. You're also welcome to bring a picnic dinner. 

The concert gets underway at 7:30 and runs until 9:30.  It is open to the public of all ages and totally FREE!  It's a great opportunity to bring the kids, grandkids, nieces & nephews out to hear a live band, and of course we'll be playing a family oriented program, including songs the kids will recognize right away and want to sing along to. 

After the concert Oracle is happy to do a meet & greet with everyone for a while so the kids can come down to meet the band members and hopefully catch a little of the joy of what it's like to perform music for a great audience.

We really encourage everyone to arrive a little before concert time & take a few minutes to walk the gounds of the mansion.  The architecture is Georgian, and the mansion was built by "Major" Thomas Snowden, (for whom "Snowden Parkway" was named), beginning in 1791.  The 70 acres it presently occupies were originally part of a 9000 acre plantation.

In  the event of inclement weather call (301) 776-2805 to find out if the concert has been cancelled.  Rest assured that no matter how threatening, the show WILL go on if at all possible and within the guidelines of safety.

The mansion and grounds are easy to get to, and even many of those from the area have driven right past it without even knowing it was there.  There are two parking areas, on either side of the mansion grounds.  It is located just off Route 197 in Laurel, about two minutes from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  We have directions on the website.  Directions to Montpelier Mansion

Laurel Independence Day Celebration

On Saturday, July 2nd Oracle will be returning to Granville-Gude Park at Laurel Lakes for the annual Independence Day concert and fireworks display.  This event draws thousands to an idylic setting in the beautiful concert pavilion next to the lake.  The day kicks off with a morning parade through the streets of Laurel.  Following the parade they have a classic car show on the grounds, and of course there is the carnival atmosphere as vendors of all sorts man their booths selling all sorts of great food, novelties, and services.

The band kicks off the music at 5:00, and with only a single intermission we play right up to around 9:15 and the beginning of the fireworks display.

The park is located at the intersection of US Route 1 and Cherry Lane in Laurel Maryland.

Parking is available across Cherry Lane at the Laurel Mall.  Obviously with 75,000+ people expected (praying for good weather), parking will be easiest early in the afternoon.

Back to Laurel Lakes to Close the Concert Season

Then on Friday, July 29th Oracle will return to Laurel Lakes for a concert sponsored by the Laurel Department of Parks & Recreation.  These concerts are less crowded than the big Independence Day concert, but are nevertheless an enormous amount of fun, particularly for the children, as you can see in this video clip from last year.

The show gets underway at 7:00 and we play until 9:00

Whether you make it out to one or all of these summer performances, the main point is we hope to see you soon.  Dust off those lawns chairs, break out the blankets, and find that pic-a-nik basket (subtle Yogi Bear reference for those that remember), and bring the kids (of all ages).    There promises to be something for everyone!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great time with the folks at LA Singles Friday Night

When you perform in a band there is nothing more gratifying than to see a packed dance floor out in front of you throughout the evening.  It tells you that you really are connecting with the people there.

Such was the case on Friday night as Oracle Band performed for the folks at LA Singles at Boswell Hall in Bowie Maryland.  From the first song to the last the dance floor was swinging and swaying to every song we threw at them, from classic Motown to some of the most current tunes on the radio today.

We received all sorts of compliments from the folks there Friday.  One gentleman said we were the only band he comes out to hear anymore.  One of the ladies who is a regular at these dances told us that she loves it when Oracle is playing as the atmosphere is always so electric, what with the lights that transform the hall into a swirling ethreal world, coupled with the energy put into every song by Veronica and Nikki.  OK, yes, we know there are also four other guys in the band, but let's face it, the passion and energy put forth by our two front ladies keeps the room alive even when they AREN'T singing lead!

One of the staff people at Boswell Hall asked Steve as he was setting up why it took so much longer for Oracle to set up as compared to the other bands.  Once everything had been set up and the room transformed with the walls and ceiling swirling in light, and with even their Christmas lights that are intertwined through the foliage onstage tied into the Oracle light system, he understood completely!  He commented that he thought it looked like a Las Vegas show stage!

We'd like to extend a big THANKS to our good friend Barbara who took so many of the pictures from the evening's performance.  We basically handed her the camera & said "fire away"!  She did, and we got lots of photos to document the evening, (including several of our trumpet player Steve, who isn't usually in many photos since he's usually TAKING them.)

Oracle will be returning to LA Singles on Friday, August 19th.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calling All Singles! LA Singles Dance This Friday!!!

If you are single and love to dance then Boswell Hall in Bowie Maryland is the place to be this Friday.  The hall is huge, the dance floor is hugerer ( that's not really a word...but you get the drift), and the people are great. 

Boswell Hall is really easy to get to.  It's located right on Route 3 just north of Route 50.  The Hall is run by the Knights of Columbus.  It's doesn't look too big on the outside, but inside it is REALLY nice!

Boswell Hall
6111 Columbian Way
Bowie, MD 20716

Monday, June 6, 2011

Maryland Yacht Club Opening Weekend

It's funny how stereotypes can be so completely different from reality. 

When one hears the term "Yacht Club", many people picture a snobby Thurston Howell III sitting in a big leather chair sipping 100 year old brandy in front of a roaring fireplace.

Well, the only thing roaring at the Maryland Yacht Club opening weekend dance were the people as they let loose with a party that was still rocking at 1:00 in the monring when we had to call things quits. 

Let's face it, these folks know how to PARTY... whether to Dion & The Belmonts or the Black Eyed Peas.

It didn't matter whether they were 18 or 80, the dance floor was rocking all night long.  Long after the princesses had retired for the night the adults kept the party going to the wee hours, and as the requests poured in the setlist pretty much got tossed aside.

A request from the folks on "D" Dock, who attended as a group costumed as the cast of Alice in Wonderland, including the Mad Hatter, a cute little rabbit, and a life size deck of cards, asked if we could fake our way through Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler".  (Get  Gambling?  Poker?)  A quick trip to the internet to download the lyrics and we were in business...faking our way though it like we had been playing it for years.  It's stuff like this that makes performing so much FUN!!!

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Busy Weekend @ Whispers on Friday Night

What a great weekend!!!  The Oracle Band's first stop for this wild and crazy June weekend was Whispers Restaurant and Lounge in Glen Burnie Maryland, where a full house came out to sing along, dance, and party with the band until the wee hours of the morning.

It seems like every time we come to Whispers there is something new, different, and exciting.

This particular weekend we were surprised as a bunch of friends decided to throw Veronica a surprise birthday party a couple of weeks in advance of her actual birthday.  Since we didn't have a public performance on her actual birthday they figured the surprise would be even more complete and everyone would be able to take part.