Beatlemore Skidmania: 15 years and still going strong
Skidmore music lovers and musicians will gather for the 15th annual Beatlemore Skidmania concerts on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 and 21. Joel Brown, distinguished artist-in-residence in the Music Department, and the Beatlemore Student Committee are gearing up for another year of spirited performances, scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. A Skidmore-only show is planned for 8 p.m. Saturday. All performances will be in the Arthur Zankel Music Center’s Ladd Concert Hall.
Featuring 13 acts from a range of different genres and styles including rock bands, acoustic acts, a cappella groups, and sitar players, students will perform reimagined arrangements of the Beatles music from 1965—a time of transition for the Beatles’ music and career.
Tickets for the Nov. 20 and 21 Beatlemore Skidmania shows are $10 general admission, $7 for senior, faculty, and staff, and $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online at https://www.skidmore.edu/zankel/box_office.php or by calling the Zankel Box Office at 580-5321. T-shirts are $15 and posters, $5. They are available for purchase in the Zankel lobby before and after the shows, and during intermission.
Brown said, “By 1965 the Beatles had truly conquered the popular music world; they had recorded and released several number-one records, made two films, and toured the world. They were tired—tired of performing live music that no one could hear (including them) over the hysterical screaming fans, tired of touring and the often-rough handling they encountered, and tired of not having any privacy at any time. Rubber Soul, released in 1965, was the first Beatles record that looked inward, a record in which they began to stretch recording technology until it became a collaborator. It was a recording that said to the world, ‘we may not be the mop-tops you think we are.’”
Student musicians will perform selections from the group’s 1965 albums, including Beatles for Sale, Help! Beatles VI, The Beatles’ Million Sellers, and Rubber Soul.
Students are at the heart of the production, overseeing all details. Between stage crew, performers and emcees, approximately 70 talented students are involved. The 2015 Beatlemore Student Committee comprises George Dilthey ’16, Roslyn Wertheimer ’16, and Jessica Saval ’16. Said Brown, “All three members of this year's team have tons of energy and enthusiasm for the event and each has a real appreciation for the Beatles and their music.” They are enrolled in an independent study, earning academic credit for this hands-on learning experience in production, ticket sales, marketing, community outreach, fundraising, press, and more.
As in past years, the production will serve as a fundraiser for Skidmore Cares, Skidmore’s community outreach program, and student financial aid. In 2014, approximately $12,000 was raised from show proceeds and contributed to both programs.
Another longstanding Beatlemore collaboration involves the poster and T-shirt design. Students in Professor Deb Hall’s Communication Design II class designed inventive posters that paid homage to the Beatles of 1965. A design by Sophia Baraschi-Ehrlich ’16 was selected out of 20 submissions.
Music Department Professor Gordon Thompson (who is on sabbatical this year) proposed the idea for Beatlemore Skidmania in 2001, as a way to uplift spirits in the wake of 9/11. Fifteen years later, the production continues to appeal to the Skidmore and Saratoga Springs communities. Brown says, “Beatlemore is a success each year because the Beatles’ music is so enduring. Many decades after the group stopped making music, people who grew up with them continue to love them while new generations discover them and fall in love too.”