94. Band Camp Concert TONIGHT at McGonigal’s Pub

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This One Time…at Band Camp – A Great Story I Will Tell My Grandkids

Local Dad and business-owner Mark Whitaker has found a better way to entertain a crowd at a party than bubble wrap. He brings his guitar, his smooth voice, and the love of a good time, and utilizes many ways of getting the whole crowd musically engaged. You may have caught his act at Kelsey Road house, or as the opener for the Brian Collins Band last year at McGonigals. This time around he has decided to be more generous to those crowd members who hunger to share the spotlight and steal his mic. He created an event, aptly named Band Camp, to combine the sounds of many Barrington musicians and, ultimately benefit the Barrington Relay for Life.  Band Camp is happening TONIGHT, May 18th, at McGonigal’s Pub.

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A few, like me, are amateurs who can carry a tune or play an instrument.  I’ll be singing on stage tonight, something I’ve wanting to get back to for a long time.

Kelly Donlea During Band Camp Rehearsal - Courtesy of Band Camp
Kelly Donlea During Band Camp Rehearsal – Courtesy of Band Camp

Also, most, like Mark and I are all current or past Roslyn Road Elementary parents; Paul Engelking Audrey Helminiak, Ed Scoby and Hank Zurawski. To back up the rookies Mark acquired professional contributions from Buddy Wegelman, owner of Dr. Woods guitar emporium, on bass guitar, Eric Justen, Director of Rock University at Dr. Woods on lead guitar, Alex Stanco of Alex and the All Stars on drums, and solo-performer Chuck Schubel on sound, guitar and harmonica.

Band Camp will be performing at McGonigals on Saturday, May 18th at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge, but an optional donation of $5 will support Roslyn Road’s Race for the Cure team.

Mark calls Band Camp Barrington’s version of “The Last Waltz,” which was a famous concert held by a band called The Band.  He said, “In their farewell show, The Band invited musical friends Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan and many more to join them on stage for a song or two.  It was a celebration of music and friends.”

The Last Walz
The Last Walz

“That’s what I’m trying to do with this show. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me to play a song or two with them, and this is our chance. As we all have day jobs, don’t expect us to sound as good as The Band, but it should be a lot of fun for all involved.”

From my perspective, being a Band camper has been a blast! I have learned a lot about myself as a musician, and had the pleasure of working with a wide range of voices that can handle a great set of songs.

Together we will tackle covers ranging from Tom Petty to Cheap Trick, Alannis Morissette and The Band. And as to be expected from any Mark Whitaker show, a variety of selections from Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label. A blending of voices, a wide array of instruments and a large heaping of fun will be what you can expect from Band Camp.

And the great food and drinks of McGonigals will be on hand to round out your night. Just in time, McGonigal’s plans to launch new additions to their already great menu just before the event. Visit the Band Camp Night Out in Barrington Facebook page for more information.

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