By Toby Warfel
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The sounds of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” as performed by the Camden County College Beatles Ensemble graced the ears of roughly 90 audience members on Dec. 7.
Professor Michael Billingsley headed up this ensemble and emceed this event; however, he did not participate in the performance. Billingsley opened the night by describing the origin of this ensemble and the purpose of this performance.
“About five years ago, some students had approached me about wanting playing some more rock music. And with my background as a jazz musician we wanted to do something that covered middle ground and we arrived at the Beatles,” Billingsley stated.
He said so many students signed up for the Beatles Ensemble this year they decided to divide the night into two acts. The opening act consisted of Dan Graf, Mark Hunter and Tristan Manzi performing several “mash-ups” of Beatles songs. The trio performed a “mash-up” of the Beatles’ song “Come Together” with X Ambassador’s song “Renegades.”
For the second act, the main ensemble played through the entire album of “Abbey Road” with proper fades and pauses as if one was listening to the record. All of the student performers ran on and off stage between songs to keep the performance smooth.
The main ensemble consisted of 14 students: Smith Amornsaensuk, Kerri Chandler, Alyssa Ford, Nick Hall, Jeff Kessler, Chris Kitchen, Dave Loder, Greg Mele, Layne Centrella Mossop, Nick Perri, Mike Reisman, Tiffany Reynolds, Dave White and TJ Young.
The audience full of family members, friends and fellow students listened as the Beatles Ensemble played through both sides of the classic album “Abbey Road.” Many of the attendees showed up to support their family members or friends with their cheers and applause. Two little girls, however, decided to dance to show their support for the ensemble.
Harry Schonleber, a music and audio recording major, attended and enjoyed the performance. “I was really impressed by Dave Loder’s drum solo and overall performance,” Schonleber stated.
Among the performers, Young stated, “The performance went well. My favorite song to perform was Maxwell’s Silver Hammer because it’s so catchy and fun.” Young also noted the little dancing girls halfway through the performance and thanked them from the stage saying, “You guys are awesome, can we give them a round of applause?”