Born and raised in New York City, Richie studied piano as a young boy. While in High School, his grandfather bought him his first electronic organ. “I was always fascinated with the tremendous versatility of the organ and I actually enjoyed performing on the organ even more than the piano.”
Richie graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College in New York with a degree in Political Science. While in college Richie began performing at restaurants and other venues to earn some money. “Soon, I realized that the music was where my heart was and I delved into both instrument sales and performing full time. I moved to Western Mass. and eventually opened Sounds of Music, selling Hammond and Technics instruments. Still, all the while, I continued performing everywhere. I remained active in our community and was President of the Agawam Chamber of Commerce in 1990. One of the proudest moments of my life, besides marrying my incredible wife, Kathy, was being presented the prestigious Paul Harris Award, the highest honor bestowed by Rotary International. This was presented to me during intermission of our annual Holiday Concert that we still do every year for Rotary. I also enjoyed my year as President of the Rotary Club of Agawam.”
I continue performing on both organ, (today truly an orchestra), and incredible Digital Keyboards that keep me and our associates busy every week of the year. I hope to continue sharing my love of the great American Standards, Showtunes, Latin Styles and Classic Rock for many good years to come.
Kathy Mitnick was born in Manchester, Ct, and later lived in Springfield and East Longmeadow, MA. At eight years of age, her father took her to a music store to look at pianos. While there, “little Kathy” saw an organ and asked what that was. The salesperson told her it was an organ She told her father that since it had two keyboards and all of those “sticks” on the floor, it must be better. Needless to say, they went home having purchased the organ. “My parents searched for a teacher and my first one was just awful. I hated my lessons. My father was in the automobile business and this gentleman came in to buy a car. My father told him he would give him the deal of a lifetime, providing he gave me lessons. Sy Quinto was a music professor at Hart School of Music as well as a performer. At first reluctant to take on this young student, he needed the car and the deal was consummated.”
This man changed Kathy’s life as he gave her the gift of music in an enjoyable way that made learning the great standards fun and a challenge.
Richie met Kathy shortly after he moved to MA. Realizing what a talented lady Kathy is, he would often offer her “gigs” that came his way. By this time, Kathy had also been performing at restaurants such as The Iron Kettle in Monson. Kathy also had worked selling organs for many years.
Kathy is also a devoted music instructor as well as a tremendous musician!