The 1970s were a diverse time for music. With genres such as disco, rock, folk, R&B and everything in between, the decade brought some of the most unique and iconic bands and musical acts. Wednesday, April 22, the members of Millersville University’s Music Program and special vocalist/guitarist President John Anderson presented students with a special performance called “World’s Greatest ‘70s Rock,” promising that “recital hour will never be the same.”
Opening the show was vocalist Matthew Spangler with Queen’s 1975 rock ballad “Bohemian Rhapsody.” With accompaniment by Sabrina Spradlin, Brenna Diehl, Eilish McCaul, Amber Adams, David Fernandes, TJ Springer, Brian Holmes and Jeremy Hammer on backing vocals, dramatic lighting, and the composition of a cappella, opera and head-banging rock, the show definitely had a fun, energetic start that had the audience singing along and attempting to hit the high notes. Guitarists Kyle Montondo and Greg Kneiss, bassist Joe Migliore, drummer Luke Helker and pianist Adam Rineer provided the rousing music while also obviously enjoying themselves onstage.
Up next was Foreigner’s debut single “Feels Like the First Time.” Covering this passionate 1977 song was lead vocalist Justine Franzi, lead guitarist/vox John Schoenwald, rhythm guitarist/vox Zander Gawn, bassist Harry Betz, keyboardist/vox Adam Rineer and drummer Joe Greeby. To reflect Foreigner’s British-American rock roots, the musicians onstage were dressed in headbands, flowy shirts and the Union Jack.
Transitioning into soft rock territory, the next song was “Everything I Own” by American folk band Bread. Although the song may sound like a love song, Bread’s lead singer David Gates actually wrote the song in honor of his father, and with lyrics such as “You sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, gave my life to me, set me free,” it certainly shows. Student vocalist/guitarist Alex Zug, bassist/vox Jackie Hynes, drummer/vox Tyler Samsel and keyboardist Nic Carter breathed life and heart into this performance.
Next, President Anderson himself and Michaela Burns, both on vocals and guitar, took the stage for “Old Man” by country-rock artist Neil Young. Young wrote the song for the caretaker of his ranch in California, where he compares his own life to the old man’s and shows that a young man has, to some extent, the same needs and desires as an older one.
Closing out the afternoon concert had Department of Music students and faculty members performing “Come Sail Away” by Styx. Colin DiLucido provided the lead vocals, with Greg Kneiss and John Schoenwald on guitar, Dr. Barry Atticks on grand piano/GTR synth/vox, Adam Rineer on piano, Lillian Noble on synthesizer, Dr. Jose Garcia on background vox and Luke Helker on drums.
Once these performances were finished, the Music Business/Technology trip for next year was announced to be in Norway.
Special thanks to Logan Wood for the sound and lighting for this performance and to Hunter Lyons for providing the music prior to the day’s recital hour in the lobby. Also, thanks to Greg Kneiss and Brendan Atticks for the creation of the videos and band bios that played throughout the performance.