Over the past few years, Dan Donahue has been MCO concerts for archival purposes. As he sets up microphones and tests levels, conversation often turns to the music industry, and about two years ago, we started talking about how wonderful it would be to bring together some of the city’s finest rock musicians with some of the city’s finest classical musicians for a concert of Beatles music. As he says, “This is some of the greatest music of our time; it resonates with everybody. The amazing thing about the Beatles is that they were one of the most popular bands and at the same time one of the best. Their music is a genre unto itself — sheer magic!” Musicians of all ages seem to gravitate to the Beatles, yet much of the music that they recorded was never really performed by them in a live concert setting. The plan is to re-create those concerts that never happened.
This is music that is particularly revered by musicians, and this concert is also a great opportunity to bring together music fans of all generations. As Dan puts it, “The Beatles pulled in so many influences and accomplished so much in a very short time. Their popularity gave them more freedom, and they revolutionized music creatively and technically.”
Members of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra will perform alongside prominent Winnipeg rock musicians Dan Donahue (vocals, guitar and keyboards), Laurie MacKenzie (vocals and guitar), Bill Wallace (vocals and bass), Neil Weisensel (keyboards), Ilena Zaramba (vocals) and Greg Gardner (drums) as they recreate the original arrangements performed by the Beatles in those iconic recordings. There will likely be a few cameo appearances, too!
Songs include: A Day in the Life, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane, Something, Your Mother Should Know, Across the Universe, All You Need is Love, Here Comes the Sun, Paperback Writer, Hello Goodbye and Martha My Dear. This is a special fundraising concert for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
Fab: Beatles + Strings takes place February 4 at Westminster United Church, beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35 including GST, and are available online at www.themco.ca, at McNally Robinson, West End Cultural Centre, Organic Planet and MCO’s Ticketline (204)783-7377. The first 100 tickets sold online will be available at the special price of $30.