On Saturday, Oct. 7, UR honored its distinguished alumni by celebrating the decades of Yellowjacket a capella history in a concert at Strong Auditorium. By performing with a creatively interwoven combination of their charismatic melodies and notable humor, the Yellowjackets captivated the awestricken audience as they sang songs that represented their respective decades.
The Yellowjackets from the 1956-1966 era delivered a heart throbbing performance in which they declared with pride, “We are the original Yellowjackets.” They performed such classics as “Deep Purple,” “Red Red Robin” and “Music Man Medley.” This talented group of 13 men and two women has performed in Europe and presented 55 concerts over a period of 10 weeks.
“Clean mind, clean body?take your pick” was the introductory quote representing the graduating classes of the late 1960s. The four well-dressed gentlemen performed “Paperback Writer” and “Sweetest Sound.”
A much larger group of Yellowjackets from the “groovy” 1970s were the next to come on stage. After enjoying “Where Can You Take a Girl,” “People,” “Old Mother Hubbard” and “She Loves Me,” the audience rose to their feet in a display of their heartfelt content.
The Jackets of the 1970s were then joined by the members of the 1960s group to sing “Sweet Beginning” and “This Could Be the Start of Something Big.”
The Yellowjackets representing the classes of the 1980s took the audience by storm with their renditions of “Ah, Woe, Ah, Me,” “That’s the Way it Goes,” “Up the Ladder” and “Princess Populi,” a song that was once banned on campus due to its sexual connotations.
“Ah, Woe, Ah, Me” was a humorous song that dealt with a corrupt family whose mother and father had cheated on each other, thus bringing sadness to their young son, who believed that he had fallen in love with his sister.
They dedicated the remainder of their performance to a UR student during the 1980s who died before he graduated.
After a brief intermission, the relatively recent graduates of the 1990s grabbed the audience’s attention by singing “There is Moonlight” and “New York Cemetery.” They ended their performance by playing the Limbo song.
Members of the graduating classes of the 2000s proclaimed, “Welcome to the Millennium,” signifying the beginning of a new generation in Yellowjacket history. The more “hip” alumni performed “Only the Good Die Young.”
Current students who will be graduating in the spring of 2007 then marched out with bright yellow jackets and delivered an unparalleled performance.
After all the performances were over, Karl Nelson, ’59, briefed the audience about the three characteristics of a great show – enough parking spots, convenient bathrooms and, of course, a stupendous audience.
Finally, all the performers came together on stage and chanted “We are Loyal Sons of Rochester” and gave a special tribute to the banks of the Genesee River with our alma mater. As the curtains were closing, the audience rose to their feet and applauded endlessly to their phenomenal performance.
All of the night’s performers represented 50 years of rich UR history and culture that was unique to their respective decades. Meliora Weekend could not have been complete without paying homage to the fantastic crowd of UR alumni who eagerly came from all over the country to reminisce on memories of a sweet past spent on the River Campus.