The very first time I saw Valerie and her band, Starlight Orchestras perform, I was blown away. I mean, they sang Beyonce better than Beyonce. They had every single person in that room up on the dance floor, busting a move the entire night. This group is FAR bigger and better than any wedding band you can possibly imagine. They are full of incredible musicians, artists and performers that come together to completely entertain you. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Valerie Romanoff, who is the founder and leader of her band, Starlight Orchestras. Valerie is an amazing musician herself, and even more motivated business women. I love her pure passion for what she does and the way she can literally lead her crew into a performance that guests will remember for a lifetime. We caught up with Valerie and wanted to learn a little more about her vision for Starlight – and how she became to be such a bad ass!
Q. Starlight Orchestra is such a unique and incredible thing. And with that, you really form together based on what is best for the event that you are at. Can you explain a little bit further on how exactly you work?
A. Years ago when I first started, I developed a roster of talent and a repertoire of material that would give me a wide range of exciting and useful tools to please a variety of audiences. As time went on, not only did more music come out, but entirely new genres of music were born. We were challenged to continue to expand our musical styles; both in sound and presentation. Starlight excels in producing a high level of live performance that is custom crafted and geared for each specific event. It takes a team of great minds to produce and a group of uniquely talented performers to execute the concept that is Starlight.
More specifically, we start with the question, “how good can it be.” Then we create the tools needed to put forth this vision. We source and train musicians, singers and dancers; we design wardrobe; we create popular yet unexpected musical arrangement of songs; we study psychology, learn about energy, and hone our intuitive skills so we can tap into the hearts and minds of the guests. We use all of these tools to create a platform for celebration, and we gear each performance to each specific event. An enormous amount of work goes into planning for each party, and we delight in how much joy it brings people.
Q. You guys cover such an array of music, from jazz to the Beatles. Do you find that one is more popular than another?
A. Each client has a different vision for their event. We like to get to know everyone so we can best represent their personal style and merge it into our playlist. This means that the ratio of songs in different genres is completely different for each event. We actually specialize in being able to cross genres yet seamlessly weave them together into one cohesive performance.
It is interesting to note that although much of the music we play is for dancing, there is another aspect of “underscoring” meaningful moments, and using music to create different moods throughout the different rooms and segments of each event.
Q. Your clientele is broad, and you’ve worked with some seriously big names. Would you say a perk of what you do is meeting people from all over the world?
A. Absolutely! It has been a thrill to be chosen to entertain some of our biggest musical heroes. Playing for Jimmy Buffet’s birthday party was one of those amazing nights where we shared the stage with Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, among others. There have been so many highlights over the years. I must say though, some of my happiest moments have been performing with the incredibly talented people that make up the Starlight family!
Q. You are based out of New York, but traveling is also part of the gig. Any places that you can recount that were a favorite?
A. Minneapolis of course, because there are the nicest people!! (and because you can get anything on a stick!) Ha-ha! (that wasn’t for the article.) We are so honored when clients go to such great lengths to fly us all over the country and all over the world. We love traveling because it bonds us together in the spirit of adventure, and also because it widens the reach of our sharing and spreading love.
You can also check out Starlight Orchestras on Facebook.