The Michael O’Neal Singers, a chorus of 140 dedicated and talented musicians, will do something a little bit different tomorrow night when it presents a program called A Beatles Tribute, including a very special guest, The Return, recognized as one of the finest Beatles tribute bands in the business. We just recently did another concert beginning with “B” and it featured music of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Britten, and Bernstein. That was certainly something a bit different than what we’ll be doing tomorrow night! However, if pre-concert ticket sales are any indication (over 1200 at the time of this writing, with an expectation of 2000 people in attendance at the concert) we’ve found a concert theme that is certainly resonating with the concert going public!
That brings me to my subject today. As we’ve rehearsed our Beatles songs the past few weeks (we’ll be doing two sets in the concert and The Return will perform two sets), I’ve been reminded that much of their music is excellent. Pieces such as Yesterday, In My Life, Eleanor Rigby, The Long and Winding Road and Blackbird are, in my opinion, some of the finest popular songs of the last half of the 20th century. It has actually been a joy to prepare this music for performance, and to remind myself that music speaks to us in so many profound and different ways. I’m glad that the repertoire of The Michael O’Neal Singers this season has been able to include a wide variety of literature – Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, G.F. Handel’s Messiah, and much more. Then, after all that, we’ll end the season with When I’m Sixty-Four, which by the way, is what I am!
How about you? Any favorite Beatles songs or other favorite “non-traditional” choral literature?