Riverfront Pops Will Present Music Of The Beatles This Saturday

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This year, the Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops will rock out with a symphonic tribute to The Beatles’ Greatest Hits. The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) will be led by Guest Conductor Jeffrey Reed, Music Director of Orchestra Kentucky.

Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops will be held Saturday, Aug. 19 at LeClaire Park, Davenport, IA. Gates and handicapped parking open at 3 p.m. The Youth Symphony Orchestra Pre-Show begins at 6:30 p.m., with the The Beatles’ Greatest Hits concert at 7:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $20 each in advance, and children’s tickets are $5 each. Adult prices will increase $5 each after 4:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 and at the gate.

During the first half of the Beatles tribute, Quad-Citians can celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by experiencing the entire album like never before. The second half will be packed with other Beatles favorites, including Here Comes the Sun, Yesterday, and Let It Be. The event will close with the QCSO’s traditional renditions of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, set to a brilliant fireworks display.

“The music of the Beatles remains timeless and popular for much the same reason that the great orchestral works do – they are beautifully and thoughtfully written, and directly touch people’s souls,” said Mark Russell Smith, QCSO Music Director and Conductor. “These four were great musicians and artists, and their legacy continues to be relevant. It was around 50 years ago that the Sgt. Pepper album was released, so that gives us a great reason to celebrate and reconnect with this great music.”

“The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is delighted to be working with Guest Conductor Jeffrey Reed again,” said Caitlin Bishop, QCSO Director of Marketing. “He has worked with the music of The Beatles before and truly appreciates their special musical vision.” The event is sponsored by Quad City Bank & Trust. Concessions will be available at the event.

History of The Beatles

Based out of Liverpool, England, the group that was to become The Beatles began performing together in the late Fifties. The group didn’t start out with that name. As the band formed, working with different members, the name changed from the Quarrymen to Johnny and the Moondogs, to the Beatals and then Silver Beatles. Finally they settled on The Beatles, with a member line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

Starting in 1963, the foursome’s popularity grew into “Beatlemania,” an international phenomenon of frenzied fans that continued past the group’s 1970 breakup. Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, The Beatles based their style in rock and roll and often added other musicals influences, including pop ballads, psychedelia, and sitars from India.

Adding Orchestral Flair to The Beatles

“The Beatles changed the history of popular music, while writing music that appealed to the masses,” said Guest Conductor Jeffrey Reed. “When I analyze their songs, I am amazed at their complexity. Their use of chords, modes, mixed-meter, avant garde techniques and orchestration was, and still is, unusual for rock music.” According to Reed, orchestral elements in The Beatles’ songs already exist. “George Martin, their producer – sometimes called the fifth Beatle – added orchestral instruments to support and enhance the songs, not take away from them,” he said. “The Beatles saw the orchestra as a way of expanding instrumental color on their recordings. It’s no different for a classical composer, looking for a different sound for a particular composition.”

Reed has conducted orchestral performances of The Beatles before. He was first inspired to work with the music of The Beatles in 2001, when a commercial for The Beatles album 1 was on television. “The album was a compilation of The Beatles’ number one hits,” he said. “When the commercial came on, my kids would immediately sing along. I then realized that The Beatles’ music crossed generational lines. I was a fan, my kids were attracted to the music, and even my elderly mother liked The Beatles. Also, it struck me how much orchestra they used in their recordings. So, I had the idea of performing recording copies, live with my own orchestra.”

According to Bishop, this year’s event will be memorable for the whole family. “Many kids may be hearing some of these songs for the first time,” she said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity for older family members, who grew up with the Beatles, to share the enjoyment of the music of their generation with their kids and grandkids.”

Quad City Symphony Orchestra tickets are available at the QCSO box office at 327 Brady St., Davenport. You can also call the QCSO at (563) 322-7276 or visit www.qcso.org.

Author: Kevin Walker

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