Local Valparaiso radio station WVLP proved once again that you do not have to drive all the way to Chicago for entertainment, showcasing dozens of the best and brightest stars available anywhere at one fun-filled evening of music and laughter. Stars Over Valpo - WVLP’s premier fundraising event - celebrated its fifth annual year to a packed auditorium at Valparaiso University’s Center for the Performing Arts Duesenberg Recital Hall.
“We get tons of inquiries from local artists,” says Gregg Kovach, Station Manager and Executive Director of WVLP. “This is one of our biggest events of the year. Between this event and our annual Hog Roast, we typically can expect to raise a third of our budget for the entire year, with much of the rest coming from generous partners like the Doelling Decorating Center and Design Construction.”
Kovach says that every event so far has been a smash success, and is proud of the local nature of the event.
“It’s just a natural fit. We’re a local station, and we’re proud to be able to feature local musicians, to help them find an audience and get exposure. We feature many of these local artists on our station as part of our regular playlist and we’re excited to be able to have them here to play live.”
Tickets to the event sold for just $20, and the 200-seat auditorium was filled to capacity with local residents eager to enjoy an evening of fast-paced entertainment with the show’s now-signature revue-type program.
“This event means so much to (station alums) John King and Paul Schreiner. They’re such ambassadors for the local music scene. We have such talent right here in Northwest Indiana, and they’re here tonight, doing what they love and helping us put on this great show,” said Kovach.
This year’s concert featured local musicians including Nicole Lee, Carolyn and Pancho Rodea, Ripley Street, Frank Ruvoli, the Hot Rod Heathens, The Blues Project, Chad Clifford, Mark Rongers and Cory Girnus and many more.
Frank Ruvoli, former Lake Central baseball player who took up music after leaving the baseball field, was enjoying his first time performing at Stars Over Valpo.
“WVLP has been so great with helping me get my music out there,” says Ruvoli. “I’ve been on several shows there at the station, and they’ve just been great at helping me promote my music, something that I know they’ve done for many other local musicians as well. They play a huge part in our local musical ecosystem.”
Ruvoli has appeared on Under the Radar sports talk with Bill Koch and Livin’ It Up with John King. His recent EP Dreamers is available on Spotify, iTunes,Google Play and others.
Valerie Steil of Valparaiso and Teri Healey from Cedar Lake were there enjoying the show.
“The diversity is so broad! There wasn’t a bad act in the bunch - it just seems to get better each year,” said Steil.
Of all of the acts, Healey was most impressed by The Blues Project.
“When they stepped up… amazing! Such talent!” said Healey.
With a wealth of talent to draw from, and an outstanding community-based radio station to promote them, the future of local music in the area shines bright as the stars on stage.
Be sure to visit WVLP online at www.wvlp.org.