A Tribute to Billy Joel

Celebration Singers give spring performance

excerpts by Crystal Prawl— Panther Press

It was a packed house in Gurganus Hall Friday night as the York College Celebration Singers harmonized in a revival of classic Billy Joel tunes. For three nights, the sixteen-member group under the direction of Mrs. Amy Fraser, entertained audiences with their version of hits from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. Since his first hit song Piano Man in 1973, Billy Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.

Members of this semester’s show included Samantha Dixon, Alice Hackett, Jason Hernandez, Martha Kinyon, Tisa Lawrence, Drew Leonard, Erich Loper, Bethany Saylor, Parker Seilstad, Hailey Siebold, Cassandra Taylor, Nathan Towell, Amber Walker, Matt Ward, and David Young. Young also served as the assistant director and Martha Kinyon and Bethany Saylor choreographed the show.

“I’ve always liked Billy Joel’s music,” Fraser said prior to the performance. “I feel like it offers a variety of song choices and spans several generations.”

The song list for the tribute included all-time favorites such as River of Dreams, Honestly, and Lullaby. There were also some classics such as And So It Goes, We Didn’t Start the Fire, and For the Longest Time.

The costuming for the show was simple as the performers donned black pants along with a colored shirt and suspenders. With the content of the show, a few props were incorporated throughout the program.

Fraser commented that the hardest part of the music selection was taking what was written and performed by a soloist and adapting it for an ensemble. "Making the music fit a group of 16 has proven to be challenging but very exciting.”

“I love the chance I get to fine-tune music with talented musicians,” Fraser said. “I also love getting to know these students in a smaller group setting.”

Click here for pictures from the performance.

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