A Queen and Cat Stevens medley. They said it could never be done.

With all this Queen excitement and the buzz surrounding the new Bohemian Rhapsody film, I’d like to take a trip back in time to 2012. Back before I had an iphone, a job, a life, really before I had much of anything other than dreams and homework. We had to be in an ensemble as a music major, so I decided to finagle myself into the instrumental rock ensemble as the sole vocalist. I learned more about singing and musicality from that group than I think a pure vocal ensemble ever would’ve provided.

We were a little looked over…even though I thought we were the best ensemble EVER to grace the Belmont school system, excitement tended to favor the pop vocal ensembles and jazz bands. We got to do whatever we wanted - and this is how a medley of We Are the Champions and Peace Train came to be. It made sense then and it still does now.

Upon reflection, that experience was quite foundational for me, even beyond musical contexts. I learned to be a part of a group - to let others be featured - to spend a couple tunes in the wings while the guitars had their well-deserved moment. Music isn’t about just one person, though they may carry the show at times. It reminds me quite a bit of Freddy Mercury’s role in Queen….he was the face, but he represented a much larger idea and was well aware that the rest of the group needed to have voice. There would be no Queen without Brian May, Roger Taylor, or John Deacon. Thanks for the lesson, Freddy.

Enjoy this arrangement:

Leslie Eiler Thompson