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Lemont man balances briefcase, guitar

Lemont, IL

By day, Terry Canning is a commercial real estate agent armed with brochures and For Sale signs. But by night, he is wielding drum sticks for his band, The Dancing Noodles.

Canning, the youngest of five siblings, came from a musical family. He has played the drums for 45 years. His oldest brother had a rock band in the late 1960s and early 1970s called the Dontays. Another brother played bass. Canning also played on a cruise liner for awhile after he got out of college.

“I’ve been around music my whole life,” he said.

Despite playing more than 80 venues a year with the Dancing Noodles during their peak in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, Canning still held his day job working the stock desk on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.

“It worked out because even though I had to be there early, I got done early,” he said.

About three years ago, he made the switch from the financial market to commercial real estate.

Today, he and the other members of the Dancing Noodles, which includes guitarist Phil Miller, Brian Sarna who plays bass, keyboard player Chris Heroldt, and Chuck “Dez” Desormeaux on sax, do about two or three gigs a month.

Canning, who has been married to Cindy for 21 years, has rarely known a dull moment.

“We’ve had a different type of life,” he said. “But it’s all worked out.”

For more information about Canning and The Dancing Noodles, visit

The Dancing Noodles have been around for more than 25 years and played in venues all over the Chicago area, including the Rosemont, Park West and the Rialto Square Theatre. The band’s name came from a play off of their former guitarist Roman Sawczak’s nickname, Noodles Romanoff. “We wanted to think of a goofy name you’d remember,” Canning said. “So we thought, “How about the Dancing Noodles?’ It’s definitely worked.”

& quotable
“The Noodles are a must-see band,” said Lemont resident Dave Riordan of North Contractors & Builders. “It’s always a good time to go see them.”

Canning has no trouble balancing his work life with his band life. “I’m so accustomed to it now that it seems like second nature,” he said. “It’s almost like having two jobs.”

MOVIE “Quiet Man”
INTERESTS Sports, vegetable gardening

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