Local drum tech creates new home for musicians

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Drummer Grant Niebergall left Homewood years ago. While he was gone, he created 1 Fine Tune, a drum tech business, in a garage in 2009 and moved it to a house. Then it relocated to a shop in South Holland.
 
  Eric Crump
Niebergall’s mission was to help others enjoy drumming by keeping their instruments in fine shape. He said his approach keeps in mind that drums are more than machines. He believes they are extensions of human musicians, and they need to be treated with great care and respect.
 
Now Niebergall is back in Homewood with a new location for 1 Fine Tune and a vision for growing the business.
 
“It was time to take it to another level,” he said, in part because of client support. “There is no place in the South Suburbs to rehearse. There’s no place to get all of our gear fixed, to clinic, to have consignments. I kept telling my clients one day I’ll do it.”
 
That day has arrived. Niebergall set up shop at 17807 Bretz Drive in January and opened the business in March. In the new location, he has enough space to realize the vision of becoming a one-stop shop for working musicians.
 
He added several employees and has arrangements with a number of contractors, so now the shop can repair most instruments, including brass, woodwinds and strings.
 
The shop is now open for musicians to use, and more renovations are planned for the space, including rehearsal rooms, a stage and a lounge-type space with high-speed internet access so musicians can easily work with online resources. 
 
Niebergall is online at facebook.com/1FineTune
 
Play On 
  Tabitha Waita, 4, gets
  help playing the fiddle
  from Melody Mart music
  teacher Ahren Hawken
  at Play On, a musicial
  instrument petting zoo
  hosted by the Homewood
  Public Library on April 30.
  Tabitha’s sister, Hadassah,
  7, looks on.
(Photo by 
  Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 
Little Tabitha Waita, 4, of Homewood drew the bow across the fiddle strings and got a nice steady note.
 
“I did it!” she said.
 
Tabitha was following her big sister, Hadassah, 7, in giving the fiddle a try at the second annual “Play On” musical instrument petting zoo at the Homewood Public Library on Sunday, April 30. The girls were there with their mother, Eunice Waita.
 
Around the meeting room were instructors from Melody Mart music store of Homewood ready to give a quick introduction and a little help as kids ― and a few adults ― tried playing a piano, guitar, violin, ukelele, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, whistle, clarinet, xylophone or drums.
 
Tabitha had a bit of help from Ahren Hawken, a member of the Melody Mart staff who often demonstrates instruments in the store. It was a good thing Hawken was at hand because the fiddle was half as big as Tabitha. 
 
As another young family walked into the library meeting room, staff member Kelly Campos, who organized the event with Melody Mart, gave them their marching orders.
“Grab an instrument and get to playing,” she said. 
 
With those seven words, Campos captured what instrument petting zoos are about. It’s probably the best introduction to making music. First, make a little noise and just have fun. The rest will follow.
 
Singer from ‘The Voice’ to perform at La Voute anniversary party
La Voute Bar + Bistro will be celebrating its second anniversary in downtown Homewood with a special performance by Riley Elmore, who was featured on the fall 2016 season of the NBC-TV show “The Voice.” 
 
Elmore performs songs from artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Michael Bublé. The teen crooner will be performing from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 17. 
La Voute is located in the La Banque Hotel, 2034 Ridge Road.
 
Online:
youtube.com/watch?v=GVHlpm_lmOw
 
Homewood pie lady wins again
The “Homewood Pie Lady,” also known as Paige Dague, took awards recently at the National Pie Championships in Orlando, Fla., building on her three-year run of earning honors at the Illinois State Fair.
 
Dague entered two pies in the Amateur Division and took third place in the Handcrafted Artisan category with her Shameless Chardonnay Pie and second place for her Rustic Rooster chicken pot pie (which she said is her kids’ favorite of all the pies she makes).
 
“The handcrafted category requires that the entire pie must be made from scratch, with no mixes of any kind,” Dague said. 
 
For her chardonnay pie, Dague even asked the organization for clarification ahead of time. “I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to make the wine myself!”
 
Mary Deatrick, a spokeswoman for the content, which is sponsored by the American Pie Council, said 100 judges for the event included “a mix of professional chefs, some of last year’s professional pie maker winners, some bloggers and then some everyday people who applied online and were selected to be pie judges.”
 
The amateur division included 35 participants who produced 206 pies during the event, she said. The event also has professional and commercial divisions.
 
Newly tenured D153 teachers
Congratulations to these District 153 teachers who, after serving the past four years and being highly rated, were granted tenure by the school board in April:
Mary Berger, 6th grade; Jennifer Boyer, kindergarten; Virginia Donahue, 8th grade; Heather Fraser, 2nd grade; Lisa Hansen, 7th grade; Dana Kubas, music teacher at Churchill School; Sandra Pons, Daily Living Skills, Hart building; Reilly Robertson, 3rd grade; Meghan Ward, 5th grade; Colleen McQuillan, special education.
 

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