The Commercial Music Ensemble’s Upcoming Themed Performance: “Celebrating 75 Years of Atlantic Records”

Photo taken by Alex Misner of the Reichgut Concert Hall.

Written By: Lizzy Kubancek

Just around the corner is the Commercial Music Ensemble’s themed performance of the semester and this year’s theme is “Celebrating 75 Years of Atlantic Records”. 

Atlantic Records, owned by the entertainment company, Warner Business Group Corp., is celebrating 75 years of helping produce some of the biggest names in music. 

The concert is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Seton Hill Performing Arts Center. The Commercial Music Ensemble is a collection of students who are Commercial Music Majors and students who just share a love for music.

“The ensemble is basically a rock band with vocalists,” said Ted DiSanti, director of the Commercial Music Ensemble. “We’ve got a guitar player, a bass player, a drummer, a keyboard player, and then there are eight vocalists, so everybody is featured on at least one song.”

“Every semester we do a themed concert,” said DiSanti. “In past semesters we did things like a tribute to Woodstock for their 50th anniversary…The last one I think we did must have been the “fools” concert because I think our concert was on April first, so we picked songs that either had “fool” in the title or the lyrics somewhere.”  

The director talked about how he wanted to pick a record label instead of a genre of music so the ensemble could have “a little more variety in what we perform this semester.” DiSanti had not even realized the occasion for the Atlantic Record label when making his decision. He exclaimed, “discovering it was the 75th anniversary of Atlantic (records), made it even more appropriate.”

“There are just so many great artists from Atlantic records,” said Sarah Wells, one of the eight vocalists in the ensemble. Some of the artists expected to be showcased in the concert are Foreigner, ABBA, Coldplay, Christina Perry, and Aretha Franklin. 

Vocalist, Sarah Wells, is singing “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin and exclaimed she’s “really excited” to perform. Wells mentioned the opening song of the concert, “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner, and the closing song, “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. 

“They are going to be super fun… there are a few songs we have a little horn section in, so I feel like that section adds a lot to the ensemble,” said Wells. 

When asked about the atmosphere of rehearsals with the concert coming up soon, Wells said, “I think everyone’s really excited. We’re doing a lot of well-known songs so I think that’s something people get really excited about.” 

Lisa Bliel, the new vocal instructor for the ensemble, has been “helping us a ton” and has been including things “that cater to the audience,” according to Wells. “One thing we will be implementing is some choreography for the background vocalists, so I’m excited to see how that comes together.” 

A worry that DiSanti has in the back of his mind is how the concert will flow with such a wide variety of songs. “That’s probably the biggest challenge: what songs to perform and whether or not those songs translate well to the stage.” 

For the ensemble’s next semester performance, Wells said they will be keeping a similar theme “because there are just so many artists to choose from in the Atlantic Records music label.” 

DiSanti said he is looking forward to “hearing everybody perform and doing well” and he also wanted to add that the ensemble “is not just for music students.” 

“Anyone on campus is welcome to join the ensemble if they play the right instrument or they’re singers,” he said. 

As the ensemble prepares for Nov. 4, be sure to look on to purchase tickets and show support down at the Seton Hill Arts Center for the performers.