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Friday, December 14, 2018

Family Ties Concert is Saturday, Dec. 29

Members of Family Ties are: (from left) Mike Caschera Jr., saxophone, keyboard and vocals; Nick Laylon, bass; Michael Caschera III, vocals and guitar; Gino Caschera, drums; and Mike Steppe, guitar, harmonica and vocals.
At 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, Family Ties, a five-member indie rock group based in Williamsport, will perform on stage in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.

Seeds for the band were planted by brothers Michael III and Gino Caschera in 2010.

Their father, also a Family Ties band member, is Mike Caschera, Jr. From the late 1960s to the 1980s, he was a professional musician and traveled across the country performing with national recoding artists Spiral Starecase based out of Las Vegas. Their big hit “More Today Than Yesterday” was released in 1969.

Family Ties’ current configuration has been in place a little more than five years. Members are: Michael III, a singer-songwriter who composes original music for the band, is lead vocalist and guitarist. Gino is on drums, dad Mike on saxophone and keyboards and Nick Laylon on bass. Mike Steppe plays guitar and harmonica and Steppe and Mike Jr. are backing vocalists.

"When my sons were young and first showed an interest in music, they got what they wanted, a guitar for Michael and drums for Gino," said Mike Jr. "When they were older, they began playing as a duo. Then one day they came to me and said they wanted to add me to the band to play keyboards and saxophone and sing. We performed as a trio for awhile," he noted.

"Michael then told Gino and me that he felt it was time to start producing our own music," said Mike Jr. "That's when we added Nick and his bass to the band. Nick and my sons have been friends since high school."

A year and a half later, Mike Steppe, his guitar, harmonica and vocals were added to the mix. “My sons knew Mike because they attended South Williamsport High where he is a faculty member." Steppe teaches Technology Education, including photography, video production, animation and television production. Steppe is also the advisor of the high school’s Songwriters and Musicians Club.

“Michael and Gino both continued working on music in high school,” said Mike Jr. “Michael wrote a song and then attended the Songwriters and Musicians Club where Steppe helped him." Then, Michael and Steppe produced and recorded the song as part of the senior class video.

On May 25 of this year, Family Ties released their debut CD "Holding Onto The Earth” to a sold-out crowd at the Genetti Hotel Ballroom in Williamsport. Their CD can be found on Amazon, Facebook, iTunes, YouTube…"We're everywhere," Mike Jr. said, "and performing on a regular basis.” The band will bring copies of "Holding Onto The Earth” to their Deane Center concert on Dec. 29.

“My sons have been surrounded by strong musical influences. Since they were babies, they were exposed to the national musical group I worked with. And Mike Steppe helped them with their music in high school. To be performing with my sons now is incredible. I am very proud of both of them,” Mike Jr. said.

For this BYOB concert, audience members are invited to bring their own favorite snacks and beverages and sit at tables with family and friends to relax and enjoy the music. Admission is $20. To purchase tickets, reserve a table at no extra charge or for more information, call the Deane Center at 570-724-6220 or visit

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