Richmond County string quartet to perform with professional show

Joshua Oliver wasn’t too familiar with the music of the Beatles until recently.

“I’m a Stones’ fan,” said Oliver, an A.R. Johnson Health Sciences and Engineering Magnet School senior who is the violinist in a string quartet tapped to play in the March 8 performance of Beatles Vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Imperial Theatre.

After weeks of rehearsing six Beatles’ songs, he has an appreciation for the Fab Four’s music and said that Yesterday is his favorite.

“It’s grown on me,” he said.

 Beatles Vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown brings together two tribute bands — each with their own shows. Abbey Road performs the Beatles, while other musicians are from Satisfaction/The International Rolling Stones Tribute Show.

During the performance, each tribute band will play three separate 20-minute sets according to Chris LeGrand, who performs as Mick Jagger in the Satisfaction show.

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Amy Ellington, lead orchestra teacher for the Richmond County String Orchestra, said she received an email about the opportunity and pursued it.

 “I think it’s great for the students to see how a professional company works because they’re so accustomed to our school performances and performances in the community that are school based,” she said.

This is the first time the students have played with a touring show, but a group of about 12-15 students did play for the Tony Howard Motown Revue in February at the Bell Auditorium. Ellington said students perform about once a month.

Sophomore Lillian Klein plays the cello in the quartet and is looking forward to the performance.

“I’m excited,” said Klein, who considers herself more of a Beatles fan, adding that Eleanor Rigby was her favorite Beatles’ tune while she likes Paint It Black by the Stones.

Ellington said she chose the four Johnson students because the group has been playing together for about two years and play well as a unit.

 “They are the top quartet at A.R. Johnson,” she said.

 Oliver said he’s looking forward to the show.

“I love rock,” he said. “I like playing other music besides classical.”

And he’s not nervous, he’s just ready to take the stage.

Read more about the Beatles Vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown here.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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