Along with performing this past Saturday night in the Fuller Arts Center, senior Adam Sickler has been a staple point of noon time entertainment in the Campus Union (See Above Video) with sophomore Jillian Funk.
Adam Sickler is probably among the most well-known students on the campus of Springfield College. Throughout each semester, he performs nearly a dozen times on campus, whether it be in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, in Cheney Hall during “Midnight Breakfast” or in the Fuller Arts Center. This past Saturday night, Sickler and his band, “Waking the Neighbors,” put on quite a show, performing their renditions of songs by John Mayer and Stevie Wonder, among others, as well as doing songs that Sickler wrote himself.
Unlike some musicians, Sickler truly enjoys playing and singing for the music itself, and the joy that it brings the audience members. That was evident during his Saturday night senior showcase.
The concert was free, but many of the attendees chose to donate some of their money before entering the auditorium. All of the proceeds are going to disaster relief in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Between each of the three sets, they would play a slideshow of photos from New Orleans and the struggles people are still going through, nearly seven years later following Hurricane Katrina.
As for Sickler, his music career started at a very young age, took a bit of a break and since coming to Springfield, has reignited.
“I started playing the clarinet in third grade and I was in the chorus in elementary school, but I dropped that after a while,” Sickler said. “It really came back to me and the music came full circle when I picked up the bass guitar in seventh grade.”
During the show, Sickler was joined by many friends and band members, such as junior Rob Kearney and sophomore Jillian Funk. The first set included five songs, highlighted by Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” The second set had a couple of other crowd favorites.
“I really liked ‘Rocket Man,’ but I also really liked the one that Rob wrote in class,” sophomore Killian O’Brien said. “‘Sleep with the Moon,’ I really liked that one.”
For the third and final set, Sickler appropriately sang some jazz tunes, which originated in New Orleans. For this set, two of the four songs were renditions of Stevie Wonder songs, one musician who is on Sickler’s list of inspirations.
“Like I said, John Mayer is one of my favorites, for obvious reasons. He’s a great guitar player and lyricist,” Sickler said. “Also, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Amos Lee, Dave Matthews Band and Stevie Wonder, just great musicians.”
So what exactly makes Sickler such a great musician, and why is he so popular on campus?
“You can tell that he does it for the love of the music,” O’Brien said. “He will try and do it for a better cause, like he’s doing tonight for the Lower Ninth Ward. He does it for the love of music, not the popularity.”
Some kids have childhood dreams of being a star athlete or famous actor or actress. Sickler has known for quite some time that music is what he wants to do with his life.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be in a band. That hunger never went away,” Sickler said. “I came to college to see if I could get a real job and all of that stuff, but like I said, that hunger never went away, and that’s what drives me. That’s why I just kept going.”
Victor Barbosa may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org