Member Spotlight: Pianist for Parties, Sharon Planer

Posted by Mary Ellen Skawinski on August 2, 2013

When we think of time-honored members here at GigMasters, Sharon Planer is one that immediately comes to mind. As a member now for over 11 years, Pianist for Parties, Sharon Planer has been selected as our featured recipient of the Lifetime Award. This award is reserved exclusively for those members who have been with GigMasters for 10 or more years, with an interruption of no more than six months in their membership. For Sharon, the past decade has amounted to her carving out a distinct career path as a professional pianist while developing an unmistakable business model that always puts the client first. I had the pleasure of speaking with her just last week, and found myself both equally thrilled with and in awe of her commitment to excellence as a longstanding GigMasters member.

Whatever It Takes

During our recent conversation, Sharon shared with me the story of one couple’s foreign romance and how that resulted in her learning an entirely new repertoire:

“This couple asked that at least half of their [wedding] music be Italian. She was American, but he was Italian (when they were planning it, he was still in the process of getting his visa!) Me being half Italian thought, ‘Oh great, I know all the classics.’ But it wasn’t the classics they wanted; they’re both young, they wanted the newer pop stuff.”

Now aside from the fact that Sharon wasn’t familiar with such Italian pop hits as "Questo Piccola Grande Amore" and "Caruso," there remained the issue of sheet music. In order to learn new pieces, almost any musician will tell you they need the sheet music first and foremost. Sharon never saw any of these issues as forming a roadblock; she meets situations like this with an open mind and resolute commitment to the client’s vision. She searched far and wide until she tracked down the necessary sheet music, learned every song they had requested, and—again upon the bride’s request— performed the entire set with two singers and a guitarist that she had never before collaborated with. Talk about working hard to ensure a successful gig!

Being Found

As a recipient of the Lifetime Award, I had to ask Sharon (among a slew of other questions), “For a member who’s been using our services for over ten years, what would you say is the best part of GigMasters?” A whopper of a question to which Sharon simply replied, “I’d say the best part is being able to be found!” When I asked her to elaborate, she noted, “GigMasters has a great search engine presence. When you’re looking for, say, live music, you find GigMasters right away.” As you may know, those results are not at all random. We’re constantly looking for the best ways for potential clients to find you on the web, and our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts are continuously being developed. Not unlike yesterday’s featured member, Chris Anthony, Sharon has pointed out the tremendous difference this has made in the number of clients who book her.

Once clients do find Sharon, they’re inevitably happy they did. From the detailed contract she starts with to the comprehensive client file she ends up with, Sharon leaves no stone unturned. “On the day of the event then, I’m nothing but smiles because I know I’ve done my homework and I’m prepared.” Naturally, her clients are beaming too when they look back at their event and realize the difference of having a true professional like Sharon.

I noted that when it came to time-honored members, Sharon Planer came to mind. Now when I think of Sharon Planer, three words come to mind: Practiced. Prepared. Perfection.


Now sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy...

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Bravo, all you Lifetime Award winners! To find out more about our other awards and badges, click here.


How many years have you been with GigMasters? Are you close to earning the Lifetime Award? Comment below!


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