WOODHAVEN, Mich. - Each year, Woodhaven Stamping (WHSP) machine repairmen Bill Eluskie and Dave Labute help raise money for charity by playing Christmas concerts with their band, Passport to Nowhere, at local churches in southeastern Michigan. In the last two years, they have helped generate nearly $5,000 for various local charities.
The concert tickets usually cost around $5 and attendees can expect about two hours of Christmas music. All proceeds are donated to local charities selected by the church.
“We enjoy playing the music and it’s nice to be able to support charities that help our community,” said Eluskie.
The band plays about 23 Christmas songs in the same style as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with electric guitars, drums, vocals and other instruments. This year, the entire choir at St. Roch’s Church in Flat Rock, Mich., will sing a few songs with the band.
“There is nothing like live performance and we have a lot of fun with it,” said Eluskie.
The band will play six shows this holiday season and the schedule is as follows:
• Dec. 15 – St. Joseph's – Trenton, Mich. – 7 p.m.
• Dec. 16 – St. Roch – Flat Rock, Mich. – 6 p.m.
• Dec. 20 – Sacred Heart Church – Grosse Ile, Mich. – 7 p.m.
• Jan. 6 – St. Cyprian – Riverview, Mich. – 4 p.m.
“We’re already booking shows for next year and we’re looking forward to playing,” said Eluskie.
The band practices about once a week, but with 23 songs to play, each band member tries to fit some practice time in every day. Eluskie, for example, runs through the entire set and practices two to three hours a day.
In addition to the Christmas concerts, the band plays other styles of music outside of the holiday season. They have played in support of various charities and every year they play the Trenton Street Fair. For more on Passport to Nowhere, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/passporttonowhere