Celebration Ensemble pays tribute to The Eagles

Celebration Ensemble pays tribute to The EaglesIn this photo, drummer Steve Simmons is not pictured. From left, are Cooper Casterline (who is not performing, but is running FoH sound), Brian Tyneway, Paul Shotwell, Michael Wu, Thomas Westcott, Mallory Evans, Mary Tewksbury, Samuel Lupowitz, Tom Sickler.

After the overwhelming success of last year’s Crosby Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) tribute concert, the Celebration Ensemble band is back together again only this year they will be playing Eagles songs at the Ransom Steele Tavern in Apalachin on Dec. 14 instead. 

Originally formed as a one-off of local professional musicians, the event last year was so successful and the musicians had so much fun they came back for another year. 

“It’s been a blast, this is the best group of people and we have so much fun together and I am so glad we are doing it again,” said Michael Wu, musician and band organizer. 

The decision to choose the Eagles for this year’s performance wasn’t an easy one, he added. 

“We had a short list and I think the vocals are the strength of this group, so keeping that in mind I knew the Eagles have lush harmonies and good depth to their vocals and I knew that was something I wanted to highlight as a group,” Wu said. 

Celebration Ensemble pays tribute to The Eagles
Pictured is the Celebration Ensemble following their Crosby Stills and Nash tribute concert. Provided photo.

The music lead itself to the Celebration Ensemble’s strengths, combined with the fact that the Eagles have a plethora of popular music and still have a greatest hits album that consistently charts in the top 100. 

“The Eagles’ catalogue is super expansive, we actually had to par songs down,” Wu said. 

Singer and local musician Mallory Evans said that she grew up on the Eagles, and that popularity should help this year’s event be a success as well. 

Celebration Ensemble pays tribute to The Eagles

“Every single one of us are musicians working in other groups and it is highly rewarding working with this great group,” Evans said. 

Wu agreed and called the upcoming concert a labor of love. 

“We just want to make sure we have the best show we can put forward,” he said. 

While the current focus is on making this year’s show a success Wu said the hope is that the Celebration Ensemble becomes an annual thing. 

“The plan is to always do it next year, I mean the Crosby Stills and Nash and Young concert last year was only meant to be one show but people wanted to book us and it was fun, so we ended up doing a few more shows last year and that motivated us to stick together and look to maybe to do one of these once a year,” Wu said. 

In the meantime Wu said presales for this year’s concert are strong. 

“The response that we are coming back has been strong, resale’s moving at a good clip. We are grateful for what seems to be a lot of buzz so if people are looking to go I would recommend a presale ticket, which is cheaper and guarantees you entrance, than trying to buy one the day of the show,” Wu said. 

For more information about the show or tickets, visit ransomsteeletavernllc.thundertix.com/orders/new?performance_id=2461851, www.facebook.com/The-Celebration-Ensemble-1312330742256977, or www.facebook.com/events/988076754861412/.

The full band lineup includes Mallory Evans (Next To Kin, The Apalachin Annies), vocals; Samuel B. Lupowitz (Noon Fifteen, Thru Spectrums) – keys, vocals: Paul Shotwell – (solo artist) vocals; Thomas Sickler (Spelunkers) – vocals, guitar; Stephen Simmons (Ultra Vibe, Mike Davis LBE) – drums and percussion; Mary Tewksbury (Next To Kin, The Apalachin Annies) – guitars; Brian Tyneway – lead guitars, vocals; Thomas Westcott (Ultra Vibe, Mike Davis LBE) – bass, vocals; and Michael Wu (Gunpoets, Randy McStine, Triple Down, The Thing) – musical director, guitars, vocals, some bass.    

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