TV spot reinterprets school anthem with rockin' rendition by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
Setting aside reverent renditions of its school anthem, UMass Amherst this week begins airing a 30-second TV spot featuring rocker and alumnus Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers launching into a fast-paced version celebrating the university’s excellence as it approaches its 150thanniversary.
The spot, produced by a Boston-based UMass graduate, Element Productions founder and CEO Eran Lobel, debuts Aug. 30 night on ESPN3 when the Minutemen play their first Football Bowl Subdivision game against the University of Connecticut, and will run regularly on televised UMass athletic competitions.
Kellogg says he didn’t hesitate when asked to participate in the project to reintrepret the school’s alma mater. “We were thrilled to get the call to sing When Twilight Shadows Deepen,” he says. “There is something awesome about doing your own thing with a great song that’s traditionally done in a completely different way.”
The commercial is strong on alumni connections – both Kellogg and his band, producer Lobel, and Chris Santo, the editor, are UMass Amherst grads. The commercial’s theme is pegged to the campus’s upcoming sesquicentennial celebration and features both historical views of UMass Amherst along with contemporary video that emphasizes the school’s rise to prominence as a top-level research university.
Lobel, executive producer at the Boston-based Element Productions, Inc., created the spot using historical photographs contrasted with the band’s music playing behind views of the UMass campus, it students and faculty at work, and shots of the Minuteman Marching Band. “There was a lot of love and UMass pride put into this,” Lobel says.
Kellogg formed the band in 2003. The group has recorded six albums, the latest being Gift Horse, released last October. The band is planning a fall national tour followed by a planned hiatus from traveling. In the commercial, SK6ERS, as the band is known to its fans, plays a section of the alma mater When Twilight Shadows Deepen, written by Fred D. Griggs of the Class of 1913.
Element Productions was established in 1998 as a high-end commercial production and post-production company based in downtown Boston and has won New England Emmy awards in 2012 for its work with NESN and in 2006, 2009 and 2011 for work with the UMass system. The company also has a client list that includes The Boston Globe, Dunkin’ Donuts, CVS, Gillette and Nike.