One recent Tuesday night you would have been forgiven for thinking that the Multi-Purpose Hall at HCT-Fujairah Women’s College had become a music club in the heart of the American Deep South.
From 8.30pm on September 27 the hall was transformed as the Johnny Rodgers Band took to the stage to perform a one night only gig that attracted large numbers of people from the local community.
The event was hosted by HCT-Fujairah in cooperation with the US Consulate General in Dubai and the Fujairah Culture & Media Authority, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamed Al Sharqi.
Following opening addresses by HCT-Fujairah Director Dr. Dave Pelham and Mohamed Saif Al Afkham, Director of Fujairah Municipality and Board member of the Fujairah Cultural and Media
Authority, the band performed an eclectic array of numbers in different musical styles from jazz to blues and rock and roll, incorporating a few well known classics from the likes of Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong.
Interacting with the audience as much as possible, they wowed the crowds with a number of their own more contemporary pieces notably one song: ‘Movin into Graceland’ – a tribute to the late Elvis Presley. At the end of the show the band received a standing ovation and admiration from the packed audience and stayed behind to receive gifts of thanks from Dr. Dave Pelham.
Earlier in the day the band members, Johnny Rodgers, Brian Glassman, Danny Mallon and Joe Ravo conducted two separate interactive workshops for male and female students at Fujairah Men’s College. The students were taught the value of rhythm in music, the differences in sound between the instruments and were given the opportunity to ask questions and speak to the band members at length.
Prior to undertaking a sound check for the evening concert, Johnny, Brian, Danny and Joe were kind enough to spend thirty minutes being interviewed by two media students, in HCT-Fujairah’s new radio studio; becoming the first guests to step foot inside the new purpose built facility.
After the evening concert guitarist Joe Ravo spoke of his enjoyment at the day-long event.
“It’s been great. We’ve all enjoyed ourselves and met so many lovely people. We’d love to come back and see you guys again,” Joe said.
Dr. Dave Pelham was also thrilled, not only with the bands performance but also how the event has further strengthened HCT-Fujairah’s role in the local community.
“I was very impressed with the band’s ability to use their music to connect with our students and the members of tonight’s audience.
They are wonderful musical ambassadors for the US. I was also pleased that HCT-Fujairah could partner with the Fujairah Cultural and Media Authority as well as the American Consul General in Dubai to bring this unique cultural event to our community.”
The band has also played in Dubai and is currently in the middle of an international tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, visiting the UAE, Jordan, Djibouti, Bahrain and Egypt. It truly was a pleasure for HCT-Fujairah to host such a popular, community event.