Entertainment at knight: Slam Funk

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On many Friday mornings, music can be heard through the hallways. It isn’t the bell, though; that’s the sound of a band. They’re playing songs by Smokey Robinson, Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, and many others. That’s the music of the extracurricular group Slam Funk.
Slam Funk is an auditioned band made up of students at North. Slam Funk plays classic motown music and specializes in jazz or blues songs.
Slam Funk is not the same as band. The music they play and instruments they use give them more of a jazz sound.
“Slam Funk is different from band because we do not play your typical structured concert material. Instead, we play Motown music. On top of that, we have singers that perform with the band,” said Hope Hudgins, one of the four lead vocalists.
The band is made up of nine people: the four lead singers are Kyle Fisher, Hope Hudgins, Karah West, and Josh Grossman. In the band is Kyle Mendoza (drums), Mason Olsansky (trumpet), Josie Krook (piano), Olivia Banach (saxophone), and Vern Jensen (trombone). They perform all over the Lake County area.
“We love to perform, and this is one of my favorite groups I am a part of. Our sponsor is Mr. Nielsen, and without him, our group wouldn’t be nearly as successful. We don’t only perform during the school year, though; most of our gigs happen during the summer,” Hudgins said.
They do many performances around the area, making it easy for students to see.
“We play at various community events like BeachFest and Grayslake Days, as well as GNHS choir concerts, private parties and assemblies,” said Olivia Banach.
The band will have auditions for new members in April. Many members of the band will be graduating this year, and new members will be needed to fill the band. Until then, the current members play on.
“It is so much fun to do this style of music, and the students involved in it right now are awesome to work with,” said band director Paul Nielsen.
They’ll be playing at school and have many performances in the future to play.
“We’ll be performing at the Pre-Prom assembly in April. We’ll do a big concert on May 13 at the Round Lake Civic Center,” Nielsen said.