We hire musicians and dancers to perform in long-term and residential care facilities across Northeast Indiana.
The Banjo Band
The Banjo Band is trio including musicians Sam Tash, Paul Creager, and Jan Roberts. They perform music from the 1900’s to the 1930’s with an emphasis on jazz and ragtime music. The ensemble started performing with AUI in 1989 and is very grateful for the opportunity to enrich the lives of their audience members.
Bob Ferguson is a local guitar legend. He started playing guitar more than 25 years ago and earned his BA and MA in music from Indiana University. Between hosting Guitar Showcase on WBIO and WBNI and teaching guitar lessons, he performs solo and with Dan Heath and the Paradise Band. He is bringing his talents to AUI because of his love for performing all styles for all ages. Learn more at https://www.fergusonguitarstudios.com/.
Chief Billy has been playing music professionally in the USA and around the world for decades, and now he’s bringing his music to the Fort Wayne area. His primary instruments are guitar, bass, and harmonica, and he plays and sings a wide range of music from the 1920’s to the 1990’s. His goal is for his music to bring joy and reveal the gifts in others.
Craig Itt has been a musician in Fort Wayne for over 60 years, including a period playing with AUI. After 40 years working in health care and music therapy, he is retired and wants to share his guitar and vocal talents with our audiences once again.
Dale Vollenweider has been performing for decades on various brass instruments and keyboards. Having retired recently after 37 years as a project manager for Swiss Re, he now shares his smooth music from the 1930’s through the 70’s with local audiences. He plays and sings a variety of show tunes, jazz standards and pop songs. Anyone over 50 will recognize something he plays! He often uses backing tracks to complement his keyboard and vocals.
Dar McCartney started playing in bands at 14 years old, a musical career that carried her to places as far as Canada on tours with impersonation bands. She also served as a teacher for guitar, bass, and drums. Joining AUI as a guitarist and singer, her song repertoire ranges from the 40’s to the 90’s, including hits, blues, country, rock, and other styles. She enjoys putting smiles on people’s faces and bringing good memories.
David Blackwell, clarinetist, graduated from Indiana University Music School with a B.M.E. in Music Education and a M.S. in Education. David taught music for 38 years as a high school band director at Wawasee High School. He believes that music has the power to bring joy to those who listen to or move to music.
Eric Sundberg made a career of music and is now making a retirement of it. With a BA in Music Composition and Performance, he performed across the American continents and gave lessons, eventually becoming the full-time music director at St. John’s Catholic Church in New Haven for 30 years. If you’re looking for musical variety, Eric is your man. He plays a wide variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, harmonica, and ukulele. His musical repertoire covers the 20’s to today in hits, blues, folk, rock, classical, jazz, patriotic, and holiday music.
The Gold Dust Trio
The Gold Dust Trio is a trio featuring Sam Tash, banjo and vocals, Marilyn Ambrose, piano and Jan Roberts, accordion. Formed in 2012, the group plays big band music and hit tunes of the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Reverend Greg Leigh has been sharing his musical talents with Audiences Unlimited for many years. He began with a partner, Bryan Stewart, under the working name of “Bryan and the Preacher”. When Bryan stopped playing, Greg continued as “The Preacher.” Reverend Leigh performs vocals and guitar in a variety of musical styles, including malt shop favorites, patriotic, popular and gospel music so there is something for everyone in his programs. Greg is planning to retire from the active ministry in July 2015 and will continue to provide music programs through AUI in his retirement.
Guy Zimmerman is a vocalist and guitarist who has worked as a music instructor since 1965. He has also performed as a church accompanist for choirs and soloists. He enjoys performing and believes using his musical talent is a way for him to give back to the community.
Heather Palmer sings and plays a variety of instruments including guitar, piano, piccolo and ukulele as well as the flute in the Fort Wayne Flute Ensemble. She has been a board certified music therapist since 2007. Heather performs a variety of musical genres including popular music from the 1920’s through the present and enjoys interacting with others and enriching people’s lives through music.
Jay and Patrice Fox
Jay and Patrice Fox are a duo that performs a wide variety of musical styles. Jay has been playing the accordion for over 51 years. Jay and Patrice perform for AUI because they love the clientele. Meeting and interacting with AUI’s special audiences through music is an uplifting experience for the duo. They believe that music is a catalyst for sparking emotions and memory and enjoy being a part of AUI.
Jeff Myers sings and plays guitar in a wide range of music from the 40’s to present, including folk, blues, country, and patriotic. He studied vocals and guitar at Ball State and has since played in many bands throughout the years. After teaching music in schools, he now runs his own guitar and vocals studio. He loves connecting with people through his performances, and he believes in the restorative power of music.
Jeff Ude is a pianist and vocalist who has performed professionally since 1983. He has played in several bands throughout the years. He really enjoys playing, singing and interacting with people. Jeff feels that performing for audience members are priceless opportunities and experiences.
Jim and Joanne Espich
Jim and Joanne Espich play banjo and sing a program of blues, jazz and ballads from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Jim and Joanne also include an occasional 1940’s tune. Their musical program features educational elements as they introduces each tune with historical information about its origin. Their banjo playing and singing are accompanied by their unique electronic Dixieland background rhythms in the styles of 20’s and 30’s bands like Count Basie, Fats Waller, Louie Armstrong and others.
Ken and Carol Suesz
Ken and Carol Suesz perform a variety of music together as husband and wife including Bossa Nova, swing, ballads and other types of music. Ken plays the keyboard, flute, saxophone and drum machine and Carol sings. They feel blessed to perform for people who may not have the opportunity to hear live music regularly.
Kirk Hughes is a vocalist and guitarist who graduated from Anderson University with a B.A. in vocal performance and Church music. Kirk has sung throughout the U.S., Europe, South Pacific and Caribbean. He has expanded his styles of music to include country and oldies. Kirk believes that AUI is an incredible organization that reaches out and touches the lives of both the young and old. AUI creates an avenue for Kirk to help and serve others through music.
Lilbern Abner is a guitarist and vocalist who has played a variety of performances throughout Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Lilbern feels a special connection to his audience members and enjoys making them and bringing joy to their lives
Marilyn Ambrose is a church organist and plays piano for AUI programs. She is retired and enjoys playing for AUI programs, churches and other events. She performs solo piano and with the Banjo Band and the Unforgettables. Marilyn enjoys entertaining AUI audiences as they greatly appreciate the opportunity to hear live music and interact with her and her colleagues.
The Music Express
The Music Express is a duo featuring clarinetist and saxophonist Dave Blackwell and pianist Marlene Lobsiger. Dave and Marlene have played together in various groups for more than 25 years. They enjoy playing tunes form the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. The Music Express appreciates bringing music to those who are infirmed. The Music Express designs programs according to those they will be entertaining. They receive great satisfaction from witnessing the audience responses to their music.
Patrick Daley has been a musician since childhood. He has played in a number of area bands, most recently the duo “Pat and Faye.” He primarily focuses on acoustic guitar and vocals in a variety of genres from the 60’s to present. He looks forward to expanding his repertoire and performing for AUI’s diverse audiences. By performing, he hopes to help listeners enjoy the experience and feel good.
The Polka Band
The Polka Band is a group made up of eight musicians that perform polkas, blues, Dixieland and big band music. The group has been together for two years. The members of the Polka Band are all retired and have all gained experience through schools, various bands and teaching music. The ensemble enjoys playing for AUI and bringing the joy of music to their audience members.
Rainee Perdue is a woman of many musical talents. She plays guitar, paino, ukelele, mandolin, merlin, and Native American flute and has been performing in a wide variety of genres since childhood, including country. She looks forward to using her gifts with Audiences Unlimited to bring people joy and make them laugh.
The Red Hat Strutters
The Red Hat Strutters is a dance troupe made up of 8 to 10 dancers. The group started out as an exercise group and expanded into entertaining others through the art of line dancing. The Red Hat Strutters perform for AUI seniors, parties, festivals, and reunions. The group loves to dress up in glitzy outfits that are coordinated with the season or holiday for each performance.
Remember When is a duo featuring Eli Arnold and Carl Barber. Carl plays lead on Euphonium or Baritone and Eli plays Harmony Bass on the Tuba. They have arranged their music to provide a mellow blend that their audiences find pleasant. They enjoy playing music that helps people remember the good times that music has brought to their lives.
This dynamic duo performs the hits from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Dan Grohnke plays keyboard and trumpet, and Al Schumm sings lead vocals. Al brings 39 years of singing with the barbershop quartets with the Summit City Chorus, and Dan has at least 30 years of experience in teaching and performing. Together, they offer a wide variety of music that’s sure to please, performing in genres like country, pop, big band, rock and roll, and religious music.
Rick Barton has over 30 years of musical experience. He plays guitar and harmonica in a wide variety of styles, including blues, folk, and rock. He performs with a Native American style flute. His flute album is available for sale as well: contact Ayesha for details.
Rick Lee plays the guitar and the bass – both electric and acoustic. Rick performs music from the 50’s – 70’s as well as blues and country. He has played in numerous bands over the years and has a passion for music and the people he plays for.
Ron Smith is a vocalist who has performed in venues throughout the tristate area. He sings songs from the 1920’s through the 1980’s. Ron loves bringing smiles to the special AUI audiences. He especially loves when they sing along to their favorite tunes.
Sam and Paul
Sam and Paul have played together as a duo for many years. Sam plays banjo and sings and Paul plays the guitar. They perform a variety of music from many different time periods. They are very engaging and enjoy interacting with their audiences and taking requests.
Sis and Jerry
Sis and the Fiddler is a duo featuring Esther Mowery playing guitar and Jerry Yagel plays guitar and fiddle. Esther and Jerry have both played with several different bands in Indiana and Ohio throughout the years. Sis and the Jerry enjoy playing for AUI because the older audiences appreciate their “old time” type of music. It gives the duo great satisfaction when they see the audiences smiling and singing along with the tunes they know. They also appreciate that audience members tell them how much their music brought back fond memories.
Skip Calvin is the founding member of the Fort Wayne Blues Society and the owner of the Fort Wayne Guitar Exchange. He has been singing and playing guitar since the 1970’s and performing as part of a group, in a duet, and as a solo artist since the 1990’s. He has performed as a street musician in Memphis and New Orleans and played at numerous events in Fort Wayne. However, his greatest joy comes from accompanying his great-granddaughter when she sings and plays ukulele.
Two Much Fun
Two Much Fun is a duo featuring Marilyn Ambrose, piano and Ike Hullinger, drums and vocals. They have a lot of fun performing together and engaging their audience members in sing-alongs and dancing.
The Towpath Players
The Towpath Players are a folk duo whose members are Jeanne Bornefeld and Beverly Williams. They play a variety of instruments including mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery, Irish whistle, Bodhran, Taos drum, and Native American flutes. Their combined experience in music has allowed the Towpath Players to give a unique flavor to Celtic, early American, Native American, and classical music while performing for long-term care facilities, retirement centers, Historic Fort Wayne, churches, private parties, and festivals. Their unique style of programs brings enjoyment to their listeners.
The Twilighters is an duo featuring Shane Brodbeck and Sue Dannenfelser. Shane plays tenor and alto saxophone, bass guitar and sings. Sue plays keyboard (rhythm) and sings. The Twilighters specialize in music from the 20’s to the 70’s. They really enjoy playing classic Rock n’ Roll and they are always willing to learn music to bring happiness to people of all ages.
Zuri Mapenzi Xe
Zuri Mapenzi Xe is a vocalist who performs a variety of music, including Motown, easy listening, and soul. Zuri says that her mission is to serve people and help them discover happiness using her talent, energy, and resources. When she sings at nursing homes, seeing the expressions on the faces of the residents brings her joy. She truly cares for her audiences and hopes that she will be able to share her talents.
Artists with Limited Availability
Annette and Family
Annette and family is a group that performs a wide range of music genres including 60’s and 70’s classics, folk music, country, and pop. The family members are Annette Carbaugh, vocalist, guitarists and singers Koko Oo and Tobias Oo. They enjoy being able to share the gift of music with Audiences Unlimited’s audiences members. They enjoy active participation from their audiences.
Cassandra Petrie is a vocalist and music theater performer who has worked with the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre. She has performed in many venues throughout northeastern Indiana. Cassandra loves singing music that brings joy to community members in long-term care facilities. AUI offers her the opportunity to do something she loves that allows her to maintain her vocal technique. She loves many genres of music and enjoys singing songs requested by her audience members.
Heartland Sings is a nonprofit vocal music production company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They serve Northeast Indiana and beyond with quality vocal music entertainment productions and educational outreach. The Vocal Artists specialize in jazz, pop, Celtic, classical, acappella, and opera vocal music styles. Each of the Vocal Artists holds a degree in Vocal Performance, from Bachelor’s to doctoral coursework. Heartland Sings is Changing Lives through Song.
Mike Whitlock is a retired music teacher from Fort Wayne Community Schools. Mike entertains by playing the piano, singing and relating with the audiences. He performs a wide variety of music from the old standards to more contemporary music. Mike enjoys playing “Name That Tune” and asking trivia questions about the songs he sings. He also likes to reminisce with the audience members about the songs.
New Harmony Quartet
The New Harmony Quartet is a vocal ensemble featuring four female singers who perform without accompaniment. The quartet began singing together as a nursing home choir. The New Harmony Quartet loves singing music that sparks memories in all audience members. The quartet also enjoys bringing fun, beautifully harmonized music and laughter to those who otherwise would not attend a performance. They especially love the Room-to-Room program performing for those who are bedfast. Music keeps the singers young at heart and they love doing it.
New Horizons Band
The New Horizons Band is a group of over 20 performers who specialize in band music in a wide variety of genres including patriotic, religious, holiday, and pop and jazz. They share a love for music and performing for others. This group requires armless chairs.
The Northern Notes
The Northern Notes is a female vocal ensemble made up of 15-18 musicians who perform folk, pop, Broadway and other styles of music. The ensemble was formed over 50 years ago by PTA mothers who loved to sing. The members of the Northern Notes have had various music experiences including church choirs, Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus, the Summit City Singers and the Hearthstone Ensemble. The Northern Notes enjoy performing for seniors and love to incorporate music that this generation will appreciate. The ensemble presents interactive, costumed and uplifting programs to enrich people’s lives through music. This ensemble requires a piano on site.
Stephanie Shultz is a vocalist who also plays a variety of instruments. Stephanie has a Bachelor’s degree in piano and flute performance from Huntington University. She plays piano accompaniment for school choirs, bands, vocal soloists, and university musicals. Stephanie also teaches private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, and assorted instruments. She has great energy and enthusiasm when performing for audiences. She really enjoys taking requests from the audience members and loves when they sing along with her.