Chicago The Band Music Community

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It took many many years for me to get to my first Chicago concert. Finally at Wells Fargo Center in Santa Rosa, CA I handed over my ticket. I found my seat the lights dimmed and my eyes filled with happy tears. I knew I shouldn't have worn eye-make-up. I didn't care, I was there for one reason and one reason only. Chicagos tremendous melodys, lyrics trombone, trumpet, clarinet, flute, drums was and is apart of my being. The song "A Song for You" my late husband gave to me. When we first met Chicagos Greatest Hits was all we listened to. My husband was diagnoised with AIDS in 1994. We have four children, all grown now. I took care of him at home until he died in my arms April 12, 1999 1:00pm. The songs were and are a part of my healing. I was hoping somehow I could get to hear my song"A Song for You" played the night of the concert. I had know idea how to go about it so I left it alone. I felt a inner warming of peace as I listened LIVE to all of our songs. For this I thank the band.

My father was a professional trombonist. He went to Juliard. He retired from San Francisco Symphony in 1985. He was a judge for the International Trombonist. ( I am not good at remembering names of everything) My mother too is a professional musician, cellist. Mom and Dad had a trmendous life together. doing what they love. As we all know not everyone can make a living at what they love. My dad had students that went on to play with Doc Sverson on the Tonight Show, Frank Zappa, and others. Maybe that isn't a big deal but I am so proud of my dad. My dad had such a uncanny love of life and music. His influence and the way he taught, play from your heart and soul, is accredited to manys success as a horn player. He passed in July 2005. I miss him so very much. When I saw and heard Pankow it was like seeing and hearing my dad again. Of course Mr. Pankow is much younger then my father. My point being the same love and passion was there. I can sing all the trombone part in most all Chicago tunes. Dad would be so proud. He was known for his solo in the first recording of Mahler 3rd Symphony inD. Trombone teachers use my dad's playing in that recording as to how it should be played. My dad was well known and loved by all he knew. John (Ned) Meredith. Back to the concert, hearing Pankow. Uncontrolled tears shot out of my eyes. I had so many overwhelming feelings of joy, a release inside my own soul that exploded. I felt like a display of fireworks, the finali, the beautiful burst of colours filling the sky slowly turning into millions of little spectacular stars falling from the heavens. I do apologize for going on and on. I waited 35 years to see my beloved Chicago in person and expressing what it all meant to me was an important task. My never ending love for my dad and for my Louis (husband) lives on thru you Chicago. I thank you.

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Comment by Henry O. Hernandez on April 15, 2014 at 11:41am

Hi Marlene and thanks for sharing such a heartfelt story of your partner, Dad and love for music.  I too lost my spouse of 27 years in Sept 2012.  I started listening to Chicago in 1970 and saw my first of over 40 concerts in 1972.  I had a long drive from Washington, DC to Houston a couple of months after she passed and listened to Chicago the whole trip.  I can relate to the emotions that their music combined with tender memories can bring. I had a hiatus of nearly all music for the past year and a half. I now realize it's time to be 'Alive Again' which was my wife's favorite song.  That's why I chose to become active on the Chicago Community site. Best wishes to you and my deepest condolences to you.

Comment by Barbara Zamojski on September 16, 2010 at 3:17am
Go to www.ctaofficialfanclub.net - you will find information on how to join the fan club. I joined in 1996 and have met the most wonderful people. As for the convention - it's an annual event, usually held in Las Vegas. There is a convention where you can meet up with other Chicago fans, buy some incredible merchandise, eat some great food & see some cool videos. Usually several of the band members show up during the day for a Q&A or to sign autographs. Then there is a meet & greet with the entire band later that evening & you will have an opportunity to talk to everyone and have your photo taken with them. It's a great time and something that I know I look forward to every year.
Comment by Marlene Sanchez on September 15, 2010 at 9:20pm
Thank you to all the commented on my blog. Some of you suggested joining the fan club so I can tell my story to the band members. Please help I don't know where to go to do that or how. I am unsavey when it comes to computers. Would someone please blog me to explain how to joing the fan club? thank you all once again.
Comment by CarolAnne Lugiano on September 15, 2010 at 5:57pm
What a beautiful way to express how you feel about Chicago and how their music impacted your life. Chicago's music has been the soundtack of so many people's lives; which is why their music is classic and timeless. You've endured a lot, but it appears as though you've been able to transcend the sadness and embrace Chicago's music to keep the memories alive. I'm happy to hear that you were able to experience Chicago in person and that they met (and perhaps) exceeded your expectations. I agree with Barb...joining the fan club and being able to tell your story to the band members would be an even more incredible experience. Thanks for opening up your heart to us, Marlene.
Comment by Mary Anderson on September 15, 2010 at 4:35pm
What a wonderful experience for you, Marlene! I could feel your emotions throughout your post. I hope you will consider joining us at a fan club convention in the future. There are many of us who consider Chicago's music as the "soundtrack of our lives" for our own personal reasons. Your history is very touching, and I think it is wonderful how you related the concert to so many of your life experiences!
Comment by Barbara Zamojski on September 15, 2010 at 4:22pm
Marlene, your blog was very moving. Thank you for posting it. Question - Are you a member of the Chicago Fan Club? If you are, you could attend our next fan club convention and tell each member of the band your story. I know that they would be very touched by it.
Comment by Marlene Sanchez on September 15, 2010 at 3:51pm
Thanks for your comment. I didn't really expect anyone to comment. Regarding your question I went alone. I had a great seat. Of course there was that woman with the unfashionable high hair in front of me, so I just sat crooked and stretched my neck a bit. It was all good. When did you last see them perform? I hope; no, I will go to their next concert when they play back here in Santa Rosa. How have you been touched by them? God bless you too!
Comment by Audrey Arturo on September 15, 2010 at 3:44pm
Marlene, your story touched my heart. I am so glad you finally got to hear/see Chicago live in concert. It seems this band has been a part of many lives for many and varied reasons. Did you go to the concert alone or with someone? I hope this is just the first of many shows for you! God bless.

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