By Sam Arseneau
UPEI Alumni Homecoming (Photo credits: Sam Arseneau)
On Saturday, UPEI Alumni hosted a first of its kind Homecoming event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UPEI, drawing big names and a diverse crowd.
Talented alumni musicians took the stage and showcased their talents. Lennie Gallant started the show with his guitar, harmonica, and singing skills. Gallant was accompanied on piano by his nephew Jonathon Gallant, and on percussion by Patricia Richard. Lennie Gallant has an honorary doctorate from UPEI and spoke about that experience during his performance. He performed many songs including â€˜Peterâ€™s Dreamâ€™ which has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received a standing ovation.
After Gallant’s energetic performance, Meaghan Blanchard went onstage. Blanchard played guitar and sang. She graduated from UPEI with a Major in English Literature. She ended her set with a cover of Old Man by Neil Young, which she says was a go-to song to sing at The Wave. Blanchard often performed at The Wave, now Fox and Crow, when she was a UPEI student.
After Blanchard’s performance, Rachel Beck and accompanying artists took to the stage. Beck also performed a new song she wrote for her four-year-old daughter called â€˜Warriorâ€™. At the end of her performance MC and alumni, Todd MacLean joined on saxophone for Beckâ€™s final song.
After Beck, Todd MacLean jumped on stage again when The Rude Mechanicals started their act. After 14 years apart the band came back together to end the night. The band was popular with crowds at UPEI when they were students. As soon as the music started, the crowd rushed to the front of the stage with excitement.
UPEI student and Fox and Crow supervisor, Owen Shaw, spoke highly of the event.
â€œIt was a great night with a great lineup of artists! I hope we see more events like this in the future for UPEI Homecoming,â€ he said.
Overall it was a fun music-filled night for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the public alike.