Shafer Carter Condon’s CEO Tim Condon and managing partner/president David Selby are the agency’s successful, talented leaders, but who knew they could also sing?
The executives lend their strong baritone and second tenor voices, respectively – along with those of six SCC staffers – to a collection of holiday songs, that benefit WGN’s Neediest Kids Fund.
This year, instead of dispatching agency carolers to downtown streets, SCC took a different approach to their fund-raising. A more practical approach, Condon and Selby figured, might be to record holiday songs and make them available for free download on a page where donations could be made directly to the Fund.
The next, step on Dec. 6, was to ask Greg Allan of Sonixphere music to team up and record five traditional songs in public domain, and help write and record an original song? “We have four days to finish this, Condon added, undoubtedly with a big friendly smile.
Allan, who understands insane deadlines are SOP, and who was in the midst of the company’s busiest December ever, agreed to record, mix and deliver the songs ASAP. “I’m always enthusiastic where good causes are involved, and the WGN Fund for kids is one of the best,” he says.
On Sunday, Dec. 9, Condon sent Allan a rough sketch of music and lyrics for It’s Holiday Time, which Condon had recorded with a garage band and Allan spent a long night refining it with musician Joe Hurt, who also performs on the recording.
Over the next two days, “we cranked it out,” says Allan, as Sonixphere recorded the agency carolers, mixed the tracks and delivered the finished collection on Dec. 13 for downloading on SCC’s website.
More than a dozen folks contributed time and talent
The songs span the ages: 1773’s Amazing Grace to late 2012’s It’s Holiday Time, which Allan calls “a contemporary swing jazz song,” and include Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Up on the Housetop.
Agency singers were executive producer Leroy Koetz; senior brand planner Cathy Gaynor; art director Greg Borowski; copywriter Emily Hoffman; director of digital development Jeff Evans and assistant brand planner Emily Finlay.
SCC’s Emily Finlay and Emily Hoffman produced for the agency and Greg Allan produced for Sonixphere; Tony Elfers, composer/ engineered. Musicians were Tony Elfers, on guitar, bass and bells; Gary Guzman, strings programming; Michael Neal, jazz guitar; Leroy Koetz, soprano saxophone; Joe Hurt, piano, bass, drums and session singer Johnnie Panzani was the lead vocalist on “It’s Holiday time.”
You can download the songs free and while you’re at, there’s a donation button next to the download. The WGN Fund, through the McCormick Foundation, matches every dollar with an additional 50 cents, so your donation is really note-worthy.
ReelChicago goes on a Christmas week hiatus and we’ll be back Jan. 2, looking for your news and notes.