Creating a Reunion Playlist By Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

One way to make your reunion fun and festive is to create a playlist with songs to evoke some fond memories and get everyone in the mood to celebrate. With digital music services such as Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify, there is no shortage of tunes available. You will need to sign up for at least a free account on your service of choice and may need a subscription to listen to certain artists or use advanced features. Each service should have instructions on how to create your playlist(s). Start gathering your selections a few months before your event. You can also ask for song suggestions when you send out your invitations or do a separate email blast once you have received your RSVPs. Find volunteers to bring Bluetooth speakers and to monitor the playlist throughout the day. Consider adding to the fun by creating a Name-that-Tune game

A family reunion calls for a mix of tunes that span generations and genres. For example, tunes such as “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang,” Homeward Bound,” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Lean on Me,” by Bill Withers, “In My Life”, by the Beatles, or “The House That Built Me,” by Miranda Lambert. Don’t forget to throw in a genealogy theme A few of my favorite family-history-inspired songs include:

• “America” by Neil Diamond
• “Ellis Island” by Marc Cohn
• “Hands That Built America” by U2
• “Lady Liberty” by Orleans
• “Remember Me” by Josh Groban (from the movie “Coco”)
• “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

For class reunions, search for songs that were popular during your graduation year (for example 80s Hit Essentials, 70s Hits Top 100 Songs, etc.). For military reunions choose patriotic tunes that should appeal to a diverse group.

Whatever your selections, remember that the songs should evoke some fond memories and get everyone in the mood to celebrate!