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A Note to Remember is Feb. 9!

THE social event of the season is less than a week away!

Excitement is building for A Note to Remember, our gala fundraiser. A Note to Remember is 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward Street in Sycamore. All proceeds benefit Sycamore music programs.

A limited number of tickets for for this adult-only event are still available. Tickets are $30 each and are available at Sycamore High School main office (427 Spartan Trail), Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists (DeKalb office, 3266 Sycamore Road), Kar Fre Flowers (1126 E. State Street), and Shawn’s Coffee House (204 Somonauk Street). Tickets are also available via email to or by contacting Clare Dempsey at 815-751-8388 (cash or check only, please).

Get ready for a fabulous evening of great music, Mardi Gras-themed culinary delights carefully calibrated for Midwestern mouths, beverages (adult and otherwise), raffles, and more.

And it’s all for a great cause.

Debbie Baugus, event chair and boosters treasurer, said planners have been working diligently to make the 11th installment of the fundraiser spicy and fun. “We’ll have great music, great food, and great fun to beat back the winter blues,” Baugus said.

First, the music:

Featured performers this year include Mr. Myers Band, the Event Horizon Jazz Quartet featuring Scott Mertens, Sycamore High School Jazz Ensemble, Sycamore High School Jazz Choir, and the Sycamore High School String Quartet.

“Musically, A Note to Remember is really a great evening,” said Scott Mertens, Sycamore music teacher, featured performer and event planner. “We have a great lineup of musicians and attendees will get a chance to appreciate how strong our music programs are in Sycamore.”

Besides Mertens, Event Horizon Jazz Quartet features bassist Donn DeSanto, Jim Kaczmarek (saxophones and flute), and Rick Vitek (drums).

DeSanto teaches acoustic and electric bass at Chicago State University. He has studied extensively with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has served as staff bassist for area churches. He owns and operates Bass Place Recording Studio and has performed with many greats including Jon Faddis, Thad Jones, Frank Mantooth, Melba Moore, Gary Novak, Patti Page, Akio Sasajima and Paul Wertico.

Kaczmarek, a Milwaukee native, began playing professionally at 16. He led eclectic jazz group Kinetic Shower in the 1980s and early 90s. He has performed with The Buckinghams and is a member of the High Society Orchestra. He has performed with a variety of artists including Diahann Carroll and The Milwaukee Symphony, Jerry Bergonzi, Bobby Shew, The Grass Roots, Dennis Tufano, Victor DeLorenzo, and Brian Ritchie of Violent Femmes. He has taught music in Chicago Public Schools for over 20 years.

Mertens (piano) is an active performer, arranger, and composer. He studied jazz piano with Willie Pickens at Northern Illinois University, where he was a graduate assistant for Director of Jazz Studies Ron Carter. He has performed in solo and small group settings and with various Chicago area groups that include Event Horizon, the Jim Kanas Quartet, and the Nightshift Orchestra. He has also played with numerous Chicago area big bands. He has performed with many distinguished jazz artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Melton Mustafa, and Louie Bellson.

Rick Vitek (drums), a Cleveland native, has been playing in Chicago since 1981, doing club shows in a plethora of styles, as well as recording jingles. He taught percussion at Columbia in the 1990s and appeared twice on Star Search in 1984. Highlights of his career include touring England with the Tom Fuller Band and Japan with actor Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band.

Rick has also performed and recorded with many greats, including Richie Cole, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano and Reggie Thomas.

We hope you’re hungry:

Lively food will accompany lively music. For months, Boosters board member Jeff Hecht has been testing and refining recipes that capture the fun and flavor of New Orleans. Jeff’s work will include a variety of dishes and desserts. A cash bar and coffee bar will both be available.

Finally, a silent auction and raffle will round out the evening.

Your support makes it possible:

Please thank and patronize our event sponsors!

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