Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Tuning into a different kind of retirementSubmitted: 08/02/2013
Story By Lex Gray


RHINELANDER - From the outside, Jeff Santy's house looks like a typical retiree's dream: a view of the lake, and peace and quiet.

But Santy's retirement dream is a little different.

"You don't have to be a rock star to feel like one," Santy says.

Santy helps people feel and act like rock stars. He started teaching music and bringing bands together after he retired from teaching English at Rhinelander High School in 2006.

"Sometimes the kids come to me and say, ‘Here's four or five of my friends, we want to be in a band, we've got a name for the band, we've got matching jackets,' and I'll say ‘What do you play?' and they'll say ‘Oh no, no, that's up to you.'"

It's not always kids living the rock star dream.

"I've had a gal who was retired just a few years ago from teaching, and she said I've always wanted to be a drummer," Santy says. "She was 57 years of age and when she started, she said ‘I should have started this 50 years ago.'"

Carly Reich started playing guitar and keyboard when she was 15 years old.

"My brother had put ads up all over town looking for band members and he got no responses," Reich says.

Two years ago, Reich and her brother found Santy's Tunesmith Academy. Santy helped them bring their band, Violet Skies, together.

"I tried taking private lessons, I tried teaching myself, and I tried playing as a group lesson," Reich says."I think the main thing for me was, there's an obligation to the other people in your band to keep getting better and to keep up with what you've learned. So that makes me a lot less likely to slack off."

Tunesmith Academy is fun for the bands and fun for Jeff, but how does it fit in with the quiet Lake George community?

"We got a phone call once when we were pumping the music, and I thought ‘Uh-oh, there's the sheriff's department calling me and saying you gotta shut this down,'" Santy says. "And yet it was someone across the lake calling with a request. They wanted to hear a certain song."

A certain song that brings you back to a time when anything was possible.

"I think kids dream of being sports stars or rock stars," he says. "I can't help them with the sports star end of it, but I can help them with the music end of it."

Violet Skies and other Tunesmith Academy bands will play this weekend at the Oneida County Fair.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

CHICAGO - A federal appeals court hears arguments in a pair of cases involving Wisconsin's voting laws.

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing arguments Friday in the cases that involve Wisconsin's voter ID and early voting laws.

+ Read More

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - Wisconsin's archery deer hunt ended more than a month ago. However, archers don't have to hang up their bows until next year, because an archery shop in St. Germain offers an indoor shooting league for people to target practice during the winter weather.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - In the Northwoods, you don't often hear of people trying to extend winter.

But this year, Andrew Bartelt had no choice.

Bartelt is one of the owners of the Tomahawk Speedway, and he and his crew have been working hard to get everything ready for the Winter Hatchet Nationals this weekend.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The owner of Nobbe's North on Highway 70 in Eagle River knew that one day someone would buy a winning lottery ticket from her store. On Wednesday, her prediction came true.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Friday's snowstorm will keep student athletes on edge during their playoff games over the weekend. 

The girls' basketball playoffs continue on Friday, but if schools cancel games it could cause some problems on the court.

Lakeland is scheduled to play Mosinee at home on Friday.

If school gets canceled, Friday's game would move to Saturday and the regional final game would move to Sunday.

This leaves players with one fewer day to prepare for the sectional finals.

+ Read More

Play Video

FOREST COUNTY - When people commit drug crimes, they often go to jail or pay a fine. But Forest County wants to give addicts another option for battling addiction.

The Forest County Circuit Court and Potawatomi Tribal Court have come together to help addicts.

An alternative option, a Drug Court in Forest County, will give people battling addiction a chance to change their lives through social involvement.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Two Northwoods communities might trade their own ambulances for what Oneida County thinks will be a better combined service.

The county is asking Sugar Camp and Three Lakes to consolidate their ambulances for one, centrally located rig.  A new garage would go up near County Highway A on Thunder Lake Road between the two towns.

Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof says that rig would be staffed 24/7 by the highest-level paramedic.  The two towns had a combined 365 calls for ambulance trips to the hospital last year.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here