York College Music Major and Alumni Performs at Funkadelic Studios

By Niko Balkaran

Current York College music majors and alumni performed a senior recital that was streamed live from Funkadelic Studios in Manhattan on April 26. The band covered a variety of music by Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones and Nirvana and also played some of their original pieces.

The recital was led by Gary Inniss, a senior at York who played the guitar and sang. Other members of the band included Emally “Kat” Merced, Kareem Ennis and Michael Mendoza. Merced lent her voice to a variety of songs, while Ennis and Mendoza played the keyboards and drums respectively.

Inniss and his group opened with a contemporary Christian number by Chris Tomlin, Indescribable. According to Innis, he did this because, “…if it wasn’t for God, I won’t have been here, and none of it would’ve been possible.”

Their next song, Wipe Away Your Tears, was a Gary Inniss original which he described as an encouraging song. This was evident in the lyrics where Inniss promised to make sure the recipient of the song didn’t have to worry or fear.

Inniss then played Redemption Song by Bob Marley, his favorite artist. This was followed by his version of All Along the Watchtower by his favorite guitarist, Jimi Hendrix.

The next song performed was an original he composed in a music composition class taught by Professor Tom Zlabinger. This song’s highlights were the melodic lyrics and Mendoza’s rhythmic drum beats. 

Merced then took to the stage where she sang Nirvana’s Come as You Are. In her performance, she took a classic song and made it her own with her soulful vocals.

The next song played was drummer Mendoza’s favorite, Only Happy When It Rains by Garbage. This was followed by their version of the Rolling Stones’ song Gimme Shelter

Matt Maltese’s As the World Caves In, which took social media platform TikTok by storm, was next and according to Inniss, featured Merced “heavily on the vocals.”

Ennis’ command of the keyboards throughout the recital helped set the tone as the band moved from piece to piece.

The night ended with Real, an original song by Inniss, which he wrote several years ago but updated with input from Ennis and Mendoza. The performance, however, was interrupted by technical issues. Mendoza entertained everyone with tricks using his drumsticks as he had been doing throughout the recital.

Inniss’s senior recital stream was viewed by an international audience from Guyana that included family and friends.  

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