By Nichole Schleihauf
Arts & Entertainment Editor

KU Rock Ensemble I has released three albums from the past three consecutive years on all major streaming platforms. The music on these albums was performed and arranged completely by KU Commercial Music students and recorded in the campus Department of Music recording studio. 

Directed by Dr. Kevin Kjos, the vocalists on the 2020-2021 album include Isaiah Beanum, Michaella Miles, KU alumni Aristides Sepulveda and Emeli Sosa. Sepulveda additionally was the sole audio engineer for the album. Instrumentalists Michael Scheffin, Mikey Mester, Luis Garcia, Christian Dunkelburger, Joey Dupp, David Schucker, Christina Baker, Keith Rippey and Brendan Noska provided their musical talents as well. 

Some standout tracks from each album were “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave,” “Grazing In The Grass” and “Come Together,” from the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 albums, respectively.

Rock Ensemble Performance
Credit: Juliette Phillips

The cover of the Martha and the Vandellas song “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” is a light and affectionate pop song. The brass instrumental paired with the tambourine and doo-wop back-up vocals transport the listener into the heart of Motown.

Another 60s hit, “Grazing In The Grass,” originally by Hugh Masekela and later recorded by  Friends of Distinction’s lyrics, opened proud and joyful. The vocalists and trumpets did Masekela’s South African style justice.

Their most recent Beatles cover of “Come Together” embraced more traditional rock than the previous two. In contrast to its predecessor, the ensemble’s take on the track utilizes stronger bass and drum playing for a more rebellious air.

Stay on the lookout for more rocking events and updates by following @kucommercialmusic on Instagram!

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