By Kelly Morgan (Staff Writer)

Wesley's Contemporary Music Ensemble

Wesley's Contemporary Music Ensemble

“Mike Sandy really shredded on the guitar,” said junior Robert Kirby, junior about his favorite musician, a Wesley college student.

Wesley’s Contemporary Ensemble performed a free concert on Nov. 17 at the Schwartz Center.

Fifteen songs, from the 1970s to today, were covered.

The ensemble includes six guitarists, two bassists, two pianists, two saxophonists, three percussionists and five vocalists.

Senior Katherine Beetscheen sang Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”

The song stood out for freshman Lauren Schaniel.

“She sounded almost identical to the original,” she said.

Kirby was impressed by the vocals.

“They were fantastic and had some energy to their singing,” he said. “The vocalist that stuck out most to me was Shane Miller. He can really pitch some notes.”

Schaniel’s favorite instruments during the concert were the guitars.

Contemporary-Music-Ensemble“Guitar solos in almost all the songs stuck out the most to me,” she said.

Guitarists made up a majority of the ensemble. Guitarists included Matthew Gallagher, Nicholas Hitchcock, Mark MacDonald, Brian Mahon, Michael Sandy and Dr. David Laganella.

A cover of the Foo Fighter’s “Everlong,” performed by Sandy on guitar, Paul Huber on bass, MacDonald on drums, and Miller on vocals, won Schaniel’s top pick for performance.

“I like the way the musicians played the song,” Schaniel said. “The singing was very well and the performers knew the whole song.”

Kirby’s favorite was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” performed by Samantha Simpson on vocals, Professor Jeff Gibson on drums, Huber on bass, and guitarists Mahon, MacDonald and Hitchcock.

The ensemble also performed four jazz pieces featuring two saxophonists, Rachel Coats and Kurt Pokoiski.

The jazz song that earned the most applause from the audience was a cover of “My Favorite Things” by Rodgers & Hammerstein.

During this performance, Mahon impressed everyone with his guitar solo.

Members of the audience members sent personal shout-outs to their friends who performed.

“I really enjoyed the whole show,” senior Katie Cooper said. “It was great to see my friends who worked so hard for that night, do so well.”