Elon Electric Ensemble pays homage to The Rolling Stones with spring concerts

The Elon Electric Ensemble Presents its Spring Concert "Satisfaction: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones" with 17 songs from one of the most influential Rock and Roll Bands of all time.

Every spring, The Elon Electric Ensemble dedicates its concerts to some of the most legendary names in music history. This year, some will be satisfied with the ensemble’s “Satisfaction: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones” concerts.

Woman singing into microphone and man playing guitar. Director of Elon Electric Ensemble Todd Coleman said a member of the group, Nicholas Priester, suggested the theme. The ensemble meets on Wednesdays from 2 to 3:40 p.m.and rehearses for its upcoming performances.

Each week, the Elon Electric Ensemble learns two new songs from the setlist of 17. The group then circles back to rehearse the songs for memorization, feel/groove, arrangement options and flow of transitions between songs. Coleman said there are a lot of moving parts in the group, including instruments such as auxiliary percussion, Hammond organ and background vocals, harmonica, and various percussion instruments. He provided students with recordings of individual instruments for each song as a way to practice each part.


“For some students in the group, this style of music is new to them,” Coleman said. “It makes student musicians work on developing their ear, learning parts by listening to recordings, and learning to improvise within a given harmonic and melodic framework.”

Coleman says he hopes that the concert can bring fun and nostalgia to some older members of the audience, as a throw-back to some of the more rebellious music of their youth.

The Rolling Stones greatly influenced the evolution of rock and roll and were icons of the British Invasion, along with The Beatles. In history, the band has received controversy for “stealing” styles of African American blues.

According to Huffington Post UK’s Dan Einav, The Rolling Stones “showed nothing but genuine reverence to those that influenced them, and by talking about their heroes and inviting them on tour, the Stones helped downtrodden black blues musicians to obtain the recognition and relative commercial success they so merited.”

As legendary American Blues Guitarist Buddy Guy said, “They were putting the music where we had never put it before, and they just let the world know who we were.”

Coleman said there are so many fun songs to rehearse. His favorites are some of the big hits, like The big hits like “Satisfaction” and “Start Me Up.”

“Sympathy for the Devil,” with the extra percussion instruments was also a lot of fun,” Coleman said. “It often leaves the students playing percussion feeling like their arms or hands will fall off by the end!”