UPIKE Jam Band performs at historic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On November 22, the UPIKE Rocks Jam Band performed perhaps their most electric performance yet on the main stage of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

The group began preparing for this one-of-a-kind experience last spring, during rehearsals for their first concert. After their first performance, UPIKE Director of Bands Michael Phillips, Ph.D., and Assistant Director of Band and Percussion Studies Mike Bell knew they had something special that needed to be shared on a much larger stage. 

Thanks to the UPIKE Experiential Learning fund, as well as scheduling and coordination from Phillips, the group had a date set with the historic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Members of the UPIKE Rocks Jam Band had ownership of the opportunity from the very beginning by submitting song ideas and practicing their set list during the fall semester. 

In addition to their performance, the students joined UPIKE staff, parents and alumni for dinner the night before their debut at the hall of fame sponsored by the UPIKE Advancement and Alumni Office.

The group was accompanied on the trip by family members as well as Phillips, Assistant Director of Bands Trevor Bailey and Bell. In attendance for the performance were hundreds of Hall of Fame visitors, including UPIKE First Lady Kay Webb, Ph.D.

“It was an amazing experience to see our UPIKE Bears performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Webb. “They did an outstanding job with their music and represented both the university and East Kentucky so well! I’m incredibly proud of every student. I’m also grateful to all the family and friends who made the trip to support them.”

One student on stage, Elijah Purvis, said the experience was made much sweeter being able to perform with a group he calls family.

“It was an absolutely terrific experience to be able to play at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Purvis. “Being up on that stage with my bandmates, who I consider brothers and sisters to me, just made it so much better. It wasn’t about just playing at that venue, it was the culmination of all our hard work presenting itself for people to enjoy.”

Bell said during their performance, the group played everything from classics by Stevie Wonder to Top 20 favorites from artists like Bruno Mars.

“It truly was an amazing experience for the University of Pikeville Band Program,” said Bell. “The best part, for me, was seeing the reactions of our members as they came off stage smiling, giving hi-fives to one another and saying, ‘that was one of the best experiences of my life.’”

“I have always heard the phrase ‘Cleveland Rocks,’ but on November 22, I would have to say UPIKE Rocks,” said Bell. 

For more information about the UPIKE Bands, call (606) 218-5740 or email bands@upike.edu.