Slideshow: Beyoncé's Original All-Female Band Reunites After 10 Years
On March 2, the Berklee Performance Center buzzed with excitement and energy as the original members of Beyoncé’s all-female band commanded the stage, reuniting to play a sold-out 10-year anniversary concert, joined by many Berklee student musicians, vocalists, and Boston Conservatory at Berklee dancers.
Organized by Tia Fuller, saxophonist in Beyoncé’s original band and professor in the Ensemble Department, the show proved to be the tangible reality of her dream to bring together both the band members and the students in one epic production. The two-hour show’s set list featured many of Queen Bey’s classic hits, such as "Crazy in Love," "If I Were a Boy," "Run the World (Girls)," and "Single Ladies," featuring original choreography from Boston Conservatory at Berklee contemporary dance alumna Ebony Williams B.F.A. '05, as well as performances by Berklee alumna Rie Tsuji B.M. '02 and Nikki Glaspie '05.
Watch Beyoncé's original all-female band perform "Single Ladies" with students from Berklee:
The process of putting together the production was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the student singers, musicians, and dancers involved, who were able to rehearse and learn firsthand from the original band members prior to the show. The experience also included a clinic for students the day before the concert in which each member of the band shared how she became a part of Beyoncé’s group, and gave advice on having faith, staying true to your artistry, and fighting for your dreams.
"I went [to Beyoncé's audition], and I had 50 bucks in my pocket," said drummer Glaspie. "I always say this: high risk, high reward. I stepped out on faith because I really had nothing in sight, but there's a greater power at work."
"As far as letting everyone know that you're transitioning from being a musician to becoming an artist, you have to make people believe in you, and you have to believe in yourself first because you're the hardest person to convince," said keyboard player Brittani Washington. "You have to own yourself."
Watch Beyoncé's original all-female band perform "Crazy in Love" with students from Berklee:
Watch Ebony Williams B.F.A. '05 discuss Beyoncé's "Formation" choreography: