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

MADISON - The Wisconsin Legislature's budget-writing committee is tackling roads funding, tax cuts and Medicaid on the second of three days of state agency briefings.

The Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday was also to hear from Attorney General Brad Schimel and the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Northwoods Memorial Day service attracts hundreds of people, rain or shine.  But getting there isn't always easy for some.

This year, service organizers will offer free coach bus rides to the Union Grove Cemetery in Harshaw for its May 27 ceremony.  Rick Smith started the ceremony after going to his father's grave site on Memorial Day in 1997 and seeing no one else out there.

Ceremony treasurer Craig Lau says the service has grown from an informal gathering to a day with cannons, fly-overs, and music.

+ Read More

MARATHON COUNTY - Police need to find the suspects they believe robbed a home at gunpoint in Marathon County on Tuesday.

According to the Marathon County Sheriff's Office, police got a report of an armed robbery on Fairview Road in the township of Emmet around 7 a.m. Tuesday. As of early Tuesday afternoon, investigators were still on scene.

+ Read More

MADISON - Right now you need a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin.

That could be changing.

+ Read More

Play Video

MANITOWISH WATERS - Days like Tuesday make you want to get outside and maybe go for a bike ride.

It's only a matter of time until bicyclists start hitting the trails, and the bike trails in Manitowish Waters are prepared for it.

The Uihlein family established a $2 million trust fund that will pay for the bike trail's maintenance in the town.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Sheriff's Office is looking into reports of an armed home invasion in the Town of Pelican. The incident was reported Monday morning around 6:30.

The caller said a white male wearing black clothes entered a home along County Highway P. The man was described as tall and muscular.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Thunder Lake Wildlife Area draws in birders and hunters alike.

The 3,000-acre marsh in eastern Oneida County is a critical breeding ground and migratory stop for birds like sandhill cranes and chestnut-sided warblers.

It's also become an important place to the Nicolet Bird Club of Three Lakes--so important that the club decided to adopt it.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here