In Memory

Michael A. Cunningham

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06/17/19 10:36 AM #1    

Stu Greene

Mike passed away suddenly in North Carolina while staying with his mother, Vivian, on April 8,2109. Services have been held. Composing and performing his music, along side his accounting practice, were his passions.  On a personal note, the expenses associated with his final costs are overwhelming Mrs. Cunningham. If you would like to contribute, search for the Go Fund Me page I have established. Search for; Mike Cunningham's Finale. If this reaches you and know of someone who knew Mike, pass it along. Peace.

06/18/19 11:22 AM #2    

Joseph DeLapp


Some of you on Facebook with me may have seen the post I had on Mike's death--an edited version follows:

Mike Cunningham, my good friend since 4th grade in Evanston, IL, died suddenly. I learned this from his working partner, the rising singing star Andrea Miller. FB nor here is not where I want to exhibit personal grief, which I am experiencing. This is to make others who knew Mike a) aware that he died shortly after moving his 93-year-old mom Vivian from FL and himself from IN so that he could care for his mom and b) give this nice guy a heart felt tribute.

Many of you might not know that Mike had become a very accomplished songwriter, composer, musician—largely jazz, but a whole body of work from Classical to contemporary. It was more than just a hobby for this professional accountant, but “his little gift” as he called his musical talent, was his PASSION. He would get up around 5:00 AM every morning and compose before addressing his professional duties. Every other waking moment not needed for his profession was dedicated to music, too. Many of his originals and rearrangements were written with Andrea in mind. If you watch the YOUTUBE post from Andrea here you can hear both artists’ work blend beautifully. You can see Mike speak as well and the talent our classmate Mike and his singing partner Andrea have.

Mike has a few original songs for Christmas from the duo’s “Christmas Collection.” I think “LIFT YOUR HEARTS,” #10 on the album, should be a holiday classic. It is that good. There are one or two other originals and arrangements that are favorites of mine. The album is listed on iTunes (red cover—his professional music name is Michael Cunningham).

MIke's arrangement with Andrea on a "THE WATER IS WIDE" is a home run as well--simply beautiful: 


Mike (“Fuzzy” to his close buddies in Evanston) and I received our Eagle Scout awards together from Troop 24 in Evanston. We last reunited in person a year ago November for my birthday in South Bend. He sat with my brother Greg and Greg’s son Paul in pouring, drenching rain—it rained heavily from kick off to the end of the Notre Dame football game—and in 37-degree weather. Each of us wore three layers of clothing, three hats, two ponchos and plastic garbage bags to cover our feet as we watched ND swim by Navy. Mike was ready to hang it up at half time because he was so wet and cold, but knowing the occasion, stayed with me after I shared a few spare dry clothes with him (he told me after the game ended at my cousin Brigid Kibbe’s house and beyond the reach of that South Bend cyclone that he was more than ready to leave at half time). That's a good freind.

Mike’s last non-FB correspondence to me was to send his new 3-song CD featuring Andrea that the two had just cut. Andrea and Mike were to record one other song together on April 29 in Chicago and then play at a booking together May 1 that Stuart Green arranged. That did not happen, unfortunately, because Mike's arrangment could not be found, but Andre did fly in from LA to Chicago to meet with Stu and Mike's other musical freinds. Maybe in death now, others may now discover Mike's talent.

The trouble with a sudden death like Mike’s is the deceased often has not said his peace to everyone. Mike and I had many talks over the years, so we can check off that one for us. I cannot officially speak for Mike, but I know from those talks that his fellow musicians, friends from the Evanston “Y”, scouting and the “Lincolnwoodies,” Haven Jr. High and ETHS were truly dear to him.



06/19/19 08:43 AM #3    

Stu Greene

Very well said Joe. 



06/19/19 06:16 PM #4    

Joseph DeLapp

Thanks Stu----and I will get to the donation page you were so kind to set up on FB for Mike's mother Vivian. You are a good man sir.

06/23/19 12:10 PM #5    

Bruce R. Carmichael


Mike, along with Michael Fischl and other of our classmates, was a member of Hell, Fire & Damnation (he was the band's keyboard player). Hell, Fire & Damnation was by far the most popular band at the McGaw YMCA's Plant Room, which was the place to be on a Friday night. Although Mike passed far too early it's nice to know that he was able to live his passion throughout his life. Bruce Carmichael


10/22/19 08:36 PM #6    

Chip (Alban) Weber

Great great guy.  Always wonderful easy going and upbeat.  For those that don't know, he had a Facebook page and there is a donation request to help with the final arrangements.  Always fun to watch him with the band in high school.

04/24/20 02:07 PM #7    

Corinne Clarkson

Mike had been sending me some of his recorded music, the first being his Amber Waves.  I then reconnected with Mike when he came through town and stopped for a beer with Ernie Sutton. After that, we met a few more times.  He continued to send me his recorded music because I really liked it.  One or two of the discs he sent were works in progress which in and of themselves were really good, but once they were finished were whole other pieces of music.  Andrea Miller, his recording partner, really compliments his music.  His music is available on Spotify in addition to iTunes and well worth a listen.  His Christmas Collection is really good, but my personal favorite is Piano Tracks.

I was really sad when I heard of his passing.  He was really hitting his stride and my understanding was that he was concentrating solely on his music.  Just a few weeks after his passing there was a celebration party of sorts with people that worked with him in Chicago.  Mike was supposed to be recording more music with Andrea that week so she was there along with some of the musicians involved in recording his music.  A taped copy of the performance of Old War Poems with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra was shown and Andrea sang a song or two of his.  It was very touching and highlighted how talented Mike was.




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