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Meet Us

"The best classic rock band in South Texas"

Celebrating 28 years,"The Agency" is a Rio Grande Valley-based six-piece veteran band that has been entertaining people throughout Texas since 1993.

We specialize in authentic versions of rock, soul and Motown classic hits from the 50's, 60's and 70's. We also play a variety of dinner jazz, swing, country, waltzes and more.

Composed of seasoned musicians who grew up with classic rock, "The Agency" is well-known for finely crafted vocals, tight, blended sound and danceable arrangements.

 

Mike Eckert 
Keyboards/Vocals

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mike moved to Boston, Massachusetts when he was ten. He began playing the accordion at five and by the time he reached eleven he was playing keyboards professionally in rock bands around the north shore area of Boston.

He has performed on the same stage with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Young Rascals and The Animals, as well as other popular groups of the sixties. One of Mike's former band mates, Brad Delp, went on to become lead singer of the popular seventies group Boston.

Mike moved to Laredo, Texas in 1967 and played keyboards professionally for years. Upon relocating to the Rio Grande Valley, Mike helped bring the sixties sound to South Padre Island as a member of the popular group "Full Sail." He was also a member of "G.T.O."

Mike has owned an advertising and print production agency since 1974. He is married with two children and has one grandchild.

 

Melvin Ellis 
Guitar/Vocals

A native of Newfoundland, Canada, Melvin has been playing guitar professionally most of his life. He completed his Bachelor of Music at Dalhausie University in Halifax, Canada in 1994. Melvin has performed extensively throughout Canada in Folk, Blues, Rock and Jazz festivals. He has also done substantial amounts of recording with established Canadian performing artists.

Melvin's musical accomplishments also include performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1997. He also performed as promenade soloist as a guitarist and vocalist with Carnival Cruise Lines throughout the Carribean from 1998-2001.

He taught guitar and music education at numerous colleges throughout Canada. He now is Estudiantina Director at Rivera High School in Brownsville.

Melvin is married and has two children. He has one grandchild.

 

Katie Gomez
Vocals

Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Katie has been singing and dancing since before she could talk.  She grew up listening to her favorite songs from Simon and Garfunkel, The Eagles, TIna Turner, and The Agency as her Dad, Chris Wiley, has been a member since the early 1990's. 

Katie grew up singing at St. Mary's Catholic Church with her parents, who were the music directors. She continued singing through elementary, middle school and high school. Katie is an active member of the Performing Arts Community in Brownsville, Texas. 

Together with her family, Katie is the owner and Director of MOVE - Academy of Dance in Brownsville, Texas. She and her husband, JP Gomez, have two children, Christopher and Rosalie. 

 

Alan Hollander 
Bass Guitar/Vocals

Alan was born and raised in New York City. His interest in rock music was cultivated as a young child by hearing original Doo Wop music sung in neighborhood schoolyards in the 1950's. Inspired by early groups and musicians such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and more, Alan began playing guitar, bass and keyboards in bands at the early age of 14. He played in numerous New York area bands and was in the popular Greenwich Village group, "Hot Lanta" for a number of years.

Relocating to South Texas in 1981, Alan played with a variety of bands including: "G.T.O.," "Doubletake," "Brian Robertson and Los Blues Guys" and many others.

An art director, Alan is currently a partner of the advertising agency, The Tequila Group. He is married with two grown children.

 

Denny Lester
Drums/Vocals

Denny was born in Boscobel, Wisconsin. He grew up in Fennimore, Wis. At around age seven he began playing drums on his own. He started school band in 6th grade. At age 12 he began playing in local clubs with his step-father who played Jazz Organ. He joined a group of guys in Boscobel and won the State Jaycees Battle of the Bands. He played in The Freymiller Trio his Junior and Senior years of High School, three nights a week. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in Instrumental Music Education.

Denny performed with The Jerry Way Express for about seven years. He also performed with stars, such as Myron Floren, The Lennon Sisters and Shari Lewis & Lambchop.

Denny taught Percussion students for the Harlingen School District for 34 years.

He is married to Jan and they have one daughter, Courtney.

 

Chris Wiley 
Keyboard/Saxophone/Vocals

Born in Roswell, New Mexico, Chris moved to Weslaco, Texas as a young child. His musical interests began early. Learning saxophone, he joined the seventh grade band. He fell in love with jazz and big band music by artists such as John Coltrane, Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman.

In high school, he taught himself the piano and became influenced by the music of Jethro Tull, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Yes and others.

For several years Chris was an organist at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Brownsville. He taught music and religion at St. Mary's School for nine years.

He is a teacher at Olmito Elementary in Los Fresnos. Chris is married with four children. He has three grandchildren.