I’m sure you’re all sick of Queen by now. I mean, they’re everywhere. Their songs are being used in commercials for everything from electronics to cars to even makeup, they opened for the Oscars, and the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been all the rage. It seems like you can’t get away from them! But why would you want to?
If you’re anything like me – which you probably aren’t, but for argument’s sake, let’s say you are – your CD player in your car has been filled with all your favorite Queen albums on constant rotation for the past few months, and when you found out that the theme for FLCC’s Spring Arts Fest was the band who never appeared to be dressed for the same occasion, you were over the moon. In all seriousness, though, when I heard about this, I’d never been more excited in my entire life. It felt like something I couldn’t pass up, seeing as this is my last semester at FLCC and, though I’d completed all my music classes, I wanted to find a way to still be involved in the music program. This concert was the perfect opportunity!
So, I did something very out of character for me, and I went and auditioned for vocals. If this opportunity presented itself to me last year or the year before that, there’s no way I would’ve auditioned. My nerves would’ve gotten the best of me, memories of trying out for my ninth-grade musical Into the Woods would’ve flashed before me, and I would’ve talked myself out of it before I could even consider auditioning. This past year has been very transformative for me, though, and after a little motivation from my closest friends and family, I pushed through the tightening chest and pounding heartbeat and auditioned.
The audition itself was pretty laid back, set up in Studio A (one of the smaller studios FLCC has to offer) with the twelve or so students who showed up and the three professors running the show – Maria Gillard, David McGuire, and Geoff Smith. Auditions went on a volunteer basis, and after hearing a few other students, I gained the courage – or maybe it was just the desire to get the anxiety-ridden experience over and done with – and got up, singing one of my too-many-to-really-pick favorites, “Radio Ga Ga.”
The audition went surprisingly well (despite how nervous I was), and even though I only sang the first few verses without the help of a backing track or piano part, it was all I needed to get in! After a week of switching between thinking “I’m pretty sure I was good enough to get in” and “Nah, I bombed it, there’s no way they’re going to pick me,” I was beyond surprised to see my name on the list of singers, accompanied by Leah DeGraw, Sarah Efing, Zach Fadale, Briana Horton, John Larson, John Martin, El Testa, and Halie Washburn. Maria is working with us and, for now, we’re practicing separate from the bands.
Yes, you read that right. There will be two bands playing the show – one for the first half of the 14-song set list and another for the second. Geoff’s band includes Jonah Hettle on drums, Henry O’Brien on bass, Liam Welch and Nate Ellsworth on guitar, and Lane Priest on piano. David’s band, respectively, includes Alex Klick, James Gardella, Jacob Wren and Zac Fadale, and Andrew Shelton.
The show is going to be great, I just have a feeling. We’ve got an awesome group of people performing and we’re going to be doing some of Queen’s greatest hits:
-Somebody to Love
-Don’t Stop Me Now
-Another One Bites the Dust
-Crazy Little Thing Called Love
-And you’re going to have to come see the show to find out the rest! (Sorry, I got to keep you interested somehow!)
I’m so excited for this show and I hope you are too! We’ve only had a couple weeks of rehearsal so far, but with what we’ve worked on, it sounds amazing and I can’t wait to tell you more about the progress we make.