Maine Music Society will salute the Fab Four

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LEWISTON — “All You Need Is Love” is the subtitle summing up the Maine Music Society’s theme for its “Beatles Retrospective” concert on May 20 and 22 at the Franco-American Heritage Center.

The Androscoggin Chorale will present a program of about 15 Beatles songs, concluding with a short audience singalong.

John Corrie, MMS artistic director, said the songs include several from the Fab Four’s early years as well as some from the late 1960s.

“This is an all-Beatles program, except that the opening number is one that is always associated with the Beatles but is not an original of theirs,” Corrie said. That song is “Twist and Shout,” first popularized by the Isley Brothers and recorded by the Beatles in 1960.

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The program’s next number is “Here Comes the Sun,” from 1969, the latest year represented by the songs chosen for this show. In between are performances by the 60-voice Androscoggin Chorale accompanied on most pieces by pianist Bridget Convey. Six or seven of the numbers will be performed a cappella.

“These are terrific arrangements of the songs,” Corrie said. He calls particular attention to “Yesterday,” which is an arrangement done by Boyz II Men. Corrie said the a cappella version works just as well for 60 voices as for three voices.

Chelsea Gould, a college freshman who lives in Casco, sings a solo in the chorale’s rendition of “In My Life.”

Corrie also sings a solo in “When I’m 64.”

The “Beatles Retrospective” also includes “All You Need Is Love,” “Here, There and Everywhere” (a cappella), “Eleanor Rigby,” “Drive My Car” (a cappella), “And I Love Her,” “The Fool on the Hill,” “Blackbird,” “Eight Days a Week”(a cappella), “Penny Lane” (a cappella), and “Can’t Buy Me Love” (a cappella).

Songs for the singalong were still under discussion in the final days of rehearsal. According to Corrie, “She Loves Me” and “Michelle” have been picked and other possibilities are “Hard Day’s Night” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

Introductions to the songs will feature “a little show and tell,” Corrie said. He will set the stage for various numbers by recalling a particular date when the Beatles appeared on an Ed Sullivan television show, performed  a well-known concert or maybe were working on one of their famous albums.

These comments will help put the work of the Beatles in perspective, he said.

Corrie noted that Beatles music almost always makes audiences tap toes and hum or sing along and, thus, it was decided to include a singalong at the end of the concert..

“That’s our bargaining chip with the audience,” he said. “We will ask them to hold their singing for that time.”

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22. The concert has no Saturday date because the Mid-Coast Symphony will be performing at that location.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $9 for students and free for children accompanied by an adult. To reserve tickets, call 782-7228. For more information, visit www.mainemusicsociety.org.

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