Jazz band performs with Alan White from the band “Yes”

McKenzie Fysh, The Beat Editor

Few can say they have met a Rock Hall of Fame inductee, let alone rehearsed with one.
But six Liberty jazz band students, Junior Katrina Filer, Senior Alex Phillips, Senior Brendan Chin, Senior Garrett Waters, Junior Matt Fry, and Junior Luke Ransom can say they have played alongside Alan White, the legendary Yes drummer who has collaborated with big-names, including Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton.
White, a Newcastle resident, was asked to perform at the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce Diamond Awards Gala on January 19.
Jared Tanner, Liberty’s band director was able to connect with White and ask him to perform with the jazz band. The students learned many “Yes” songs, such as the famous “Owner of A Lonely Heart” in anticipation.
“It’s been awesome just to be around him and see what he’s doing,” Ransom said. “I’m even learning just by watching him play.”
During the performance, the Liberty band students and White played hits including “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” John Lennon’s “Instant Karma!” and “I’ve Got News For You” by Ray Charles.
“Jamming with the guys was so fun and I felt so professional. This was our first real gig where we were performing for another venue with more than our typical audience at Liberty,” Filer said.