96 W Main St
Allegany, NY 14706
The SBU Blues Ensemble under the direction of St. Bonaventure University adjunct music instructor and guitarist Terry Bellamy will present its end-of-semester showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Allegany’s “Home of the Blues,” the Hickey Tavern, 96 W. Main St.
The show begins at 8 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge.
The SBU Blues Ensemble is composed of St. Bonaventure students enrolled in the semester-long Blues Ensemble course, a section of the university’s MU 104 Small Ensemble music course, as well as past and present SBU employees and members of the Olean-area community.
The Blues Ensemble, like all Small Ensemble courses, includes three hours of rehearsal each week. It concludes with a public performance at the Hickey.
“Terry’s been running the course for about four years now,” said Dr. Les Sabina, director of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at St. Bonaventure. “Not only does it give our students the chance to play in an ensemble that lies outside of the traditional bands and choirs, but we’ve found it’s a great way to build relationships with local musicians, as many enroll in the course in any given semester. It is yet another activity that welcomes Olean-area residents onto campus, while giving our students some insight into the local community.”
St. Bonaventure students who are part of this semester’s Blues Ensemble include Billy Vink, a junior computer science major from West Chester, Pa., on sax; Noelle Acaso, a junior theology and Franciscan studies major from Rosedale, Md., vocals and guitar; and Steve Wilt, a sophomore journalism and mass communication major from Canandaigua, N.Y., on guitar.
Others in the ensemble are community members Willie Clemons, vocals, and Peter Wintermantel, harmonica; as well as several present St. Bonaventure employees and SBU retirees, including Danny Wood on guitar, Mike Manross on bass, and Della Moore on vocals, guitar and flute.
The performance will last about 70 minutes and feature Memphis Blues tunes of the 1950s and ’60s, with compositions by B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Elvis Presley. There will also be selections honoring some of the music greats who died this year, including Gregg Allman, Tom Petty and Fats Domino.
“This semester-ending showcase is always a great time, for the performers and the audience,” said Sabina. “We invite everyone to come to the Hickey to hear our students and local musicians tear through some classic blues tunes in an authentic blues setting.”