Lead Singer from 'Blessid Union of Souls' Shares Lessons with West Choir Students

Lead Singer from 'Blessid Union of Souls' Shares Lessons with West Choir Students
Posted on 12/19/2017
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photo of lead singer Eliot Sloan speaking to studentsSusan Bauer's Lakota West choir room was packed with students on Monday to learn from a very special guest.

As singer/musician Eliot Sloan recounted a time when he and fellow band members of 'Blessid Union of Souls' were on the road travelling to their next gig, emotions set in. It happened well over 22 years ago, but Sloan still had to pause to take it all in… the moment when American Top 40 radio host Casey Kasem announced their “I Believe” as the number one song in the nation.

It was that emotion and passion that inspired Choir Director Bauer to try to get Sloan to come speak to her students. She had met him briefly this past summer because her husband’s band (HJS science teacher Mark Bauer) opened for Blessid Union of Souls.

“I wanted to get my men’s choir to sing with more expression and emotionally connect with the music,” said Bauer. “And it is so important for our kids to talk to someone who is in the business and be able to get firsthand information.”

The visit started with the choir performing a few songs, then Sloan spoke for a while before returning the favor and performing “I Believe” for the students. Several students wanting to pursue a career in music even had the chance to sing for Sloan and ask for some professional advice.

There was also time for a Q & A where students learned everything from whether Sloan, a native Cincinnatian, preferred Skyline or Gold Star, to why melody and lyrics are so important. When asked how to have a lasting, successful career (in any field), Sloan advised students “don’t do anything halfway”.

“I’m just a kid from Pleasant Ridge,” said Sloan. “If I can do it, you can do it. Whatever it is. If you have a dream or passion, just give it your all.”

Before the visit, Bauer was a little concerned that because of the generation gap, none of her students had heard of Blessid Union of Souls. “They have no idea what a big deal this is going to be and what a treat it will be for them.”

It turns out that she didn’t need to worry. The students had no problem relating to Sloan, listening intently and laughing along as he told his story. And they did realize just how special the visit was – the very long line of students waiting to take a selfie with him at the end of class proved it.