Slam Funk brings Motown music to North


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Slam Funk performs at the Homecoming assembly.

Slam Funk is a student group that has been a part of Grayslake North for eleven years. They play Motown music at various events in and outside of the school.

“It’s not only a fun group, but it gives students an opportunity to do music that is different from what they can do in band and choir. It incorporates both singers and instrumentalists and has included musicians that aren’t in band or choir but play guitar, bass, drums, keyboard or sing,” said the group’s director Paul Nielsen.

Slam Funk played at this year’s Homecoming assembly. They have also played at freshman orientation and the Grayslake North car show. They can be seen playing in the hallway before school starts. Outside of school, they play private events and perform at events in the community.

“My favorite part of being in Slam Funk is performing in different places. Since Slam Funk is smaller than the full school band, we get opportunities to perform in both the school and in the community that the school band does not get. It’s also fun because we play music that people know. Other bands I’m in play cool music, but the audience is not as familiar with the songs we play. Slam Funk plays Motown music which is well known, so the audience is more engaged,” said drummer Nathan Gulliver.

The music that Slam Funk plays is Motown. Motown is a musical genre primarily known for a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence also known as “The Motown Sound.” Popular artists within the genre are Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, and Stevie Wonder.

“My favorite song to perform is ‘Dancing in the Street’ because of the positive message behind it and the good vibes it brings,” said lead singer Marnie Glass.

Why join Slam Funk? Slam Funk provides opportunities for students who want to be in a smaller musical group to play at fun events and play music that they enjoy playing.

“We’ve had multiple performances this year. The best part about being in a band like Slam Funk is that we are able to play at many different types of events,” Gulliver said.

Another benefit of being in Slam Funk is being part of a close group of students who enjoy similar things.

“My favorite part of Slam Funk is the opportunity to make great friends and perform at gigs outside of school,” Glass said.

“It’s so much fun. They learn some really great music. They form a special bond as a group, especially as we travel to do performances,” Nielsen said.

Anyone who is interested in joining Slam Funk can talk to Mr. Nielsen about auditions in May.