Ron Della Chiesa still spends his life doing the very thing that he loves best. When he is not sharing his extensive music knowledge on the air on Strictly Sinatra and Music America Sundays on Easy 99.1 FM or announcing for the Boston Symphony Orchestra or for Tanglewood under a warm summer sun, one of his biggest loves is opera. A frequent visitor to the MET, Ron’s father was an opera singer and Ron could passionately talk about opera from Giacomo Puccini to Marcello Giordani, two opera dynamos who are also the names of Ron and his wife Joyce’s beloved cats. Ron knows so much about opera that during the night of his 85th birthday, he shared a little known fact about a famous opera singer and how the Phantom of the Opera musical really got its roots.
To the swinging sounds of Rico Barr and his Jump and Jive Band and hosted by Jordan Rich, Ron Della Chiesa’s 85th birthday took place to a full house at Raffaels in Hingham, Massachusetts on Friday, February 17, the night before his real birthday.
It seemed not so long ago that Ron was turning 70 and didn’t feel a bit like it. Still happily working in Broadcasting at 85, he still makes guest appearances to talk about Broadcast history, his popular book with bestselling author Erica Ferencik called Radio My Way and will be quick to tell anyone what still makes him fond of radio after all these years. Always good natured and positive, the theme of his birthday bash was ‘The Best is Yet to Come,’ not only named after a Sinatra song but the personal slogan of his amazing life.
Tenor Matthew DiBattista sang the National Anthem to open this special evening. With guests invited to dress in red, people took to the dance floor to swing to an extensive list of American Standards performed by Rico’s band. The elegant evening even included a couple of songs Ron sang from Sinatra’s classic tunes.
Music Director for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Andris Nelsons, renowned Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, and popular jazz musicians Bo and Bill Winiker were among the special guests that sent their birthday wishes via phone. Popular DJ and close friend Cha-Chi Loprete surprised Ron with his presence. Born in Quincy, MA, Quincy Mayor Koch proclaimed February 18 as Ron Della Chiesa Day among many of Ron’s generous gifts. The evening also included birthday cake, cocktails, table seating, and countless guests reminiscing with Ron about his blessed life. Ron called it a magical evening he won’t soon forget!
Visit Strictly Sinatra and Music-America’s Facebook fan page for more photos of this celebrated evening. Ron’s Della Chiesa’s Strictly Sinatra and Music America offer occasional dance parties at Raffaels in Hingham, Massachusetts. The next event will be Ron Della Chiesa Strictly Sinatra Tribute Dance on November 3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit musicnotnoise.com or call Executive Producer Paul Schlosberg at 617-633-5100. To learn more about Ron, click here and listen to him on Easy 99.1 FM on Sunday night on Music America and Strictly Sinatra. Be sure to check out his memoir Radio My Way by Ron Della Chiesa and Erica Ferencik.