Legends and their legacies were the main event for the Department of Music’s Kellogg Soul Music Ensemble concert, “A Fallen Legends Tribute.”

The concert took place in the Music Recital Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 20 and was directed by Professor J. Michael O’Neal.

The band of musicians primarily played a series of cover songs of popular soul and R&B musical artists, with a hint of other musical styles as well such as jazz and rock.

Covers included renditions of songs by popular musical artists such as D’Angelo, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Prince, the Beatles, Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.

“They did an excellent job. This group is just special; they are just open to styles and worked hard, they practiced, they care about their music and that’s what is so awesome about that,” said O’Neal, director since the 2010s and part of the ensemble as a student during the 1990s.

The concert, directed by Professor J. Michael O’Neal, featured covers of popular R&B and soul songs, from artists such as D’Angelo, Alicia Keys, Prince and so on. (Michael Uba | The Poly Post)

The ensemble performs primarily popular or commercial music, which is distinguishable from the other ensembles on campus, which generally play instrumental, classical, jazz standards as well as commercial.

The Kellogg Soul Music Ensemble was arranged just like the standard guitar band is set up: guitars, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards.

The concert’s set list was ample, varied and had no intermission, which is unlike the other ensembles’ performances in the music department.

The audience generally gave a round of applause throughout each song’s performance, whether it was for the guitar solo, the keyboardist’s spotlight, the rhythm section’s groove, the singer’s range or the performer’s overall stage presence.

Audience member Christopher Chang generally attends all the music department’s shows.

“It was probably one of the best shows I saw, it was a blast, we got to hear all sorts of performances from Aretha Franklin to Michael Jackson; it’s a more relaxed performance,” said Chang, a fifth-year music industry studies student.

The show performers and the audience would interact from time to time, throughout the concert whether it was jokes, the vocalist hyping up the crowd or the audience members enjoying the performances of the songs that they were very familiar with.

Audience members Hannah Russell and Samantha Santana both enjoyed the energy of the concert.

“The show was very good; all the singers did amazing and I liked the audience’s participation, it [the ensemble compared to other ensemble concerts] was way better,” said Russell, a third-year biology student.

“The show really exceeded my expectations; I thought it was better than last year even, everyone had just great chemistry on stage even the singers; shout out to [ensemble performers] Kezia, Alex and Nathan,” said Santana, a second-year music student.

Due to the ensemble’s dynamic and large group and set list, each song was distinguishable whether it was the technicality, atmosphere or the musical style of the song.

The Kellogg Soul Music Ensemble pitched in and presented a surprise gift to the director O’Neal at the end of the show, which was a gift card to a local massage establishment.

Performers Camrie Lucey and Adrian Maldonado were a part of that ensemble.

“We all played really well and we just had a great time; it’s commercial music, [the ensemble] has a little bit of everything which is really fun; I think it is a cool tribute and the legends are the best and it was awesome to play their music,” said Lucey, a fourth-year commercial vocal performance student.

“I feel like it’s the only one where we were covering music that is a little more current; you get to learn like how they play it like how they voice things and how just everything; it gives you more language you understand what you are playing so it’s cool,” said Maldonado, a fourth-year music industry studies student.

For more information on upcoming shows in the Department of Music, visit the department’s website at cpp.edu/~class/music/.

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