Port Townsend Beatles show prompts encore tonight
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Port Townsend High School orchestra members (clockwise from lower left) Rory McDonald. Jake Van Vockli. Elijah Johnston and Alethea Westlund get some last minute pointers from orchestra director Russell Clark in preparation for tonight's encore performance of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend High School Band will present an encore performance tonight of its arrangement of the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

The free encore show — which will begin at
7:30 p.m. in the commons room at Blue Heron Middle School, 3939 San Juan Ave. — was prompted by the enthusiastic response to a concert April 17.

“The positive reaction to the last show has really pulled this project forward,” said teacher Russell Clark, who wrote a five-part arrangement of the album and taught it to the students.

The high school ensemble's members “have dug into the parts with a lot of inspiration. They've made it snappier, and the parts have really pulled together.

“I really like what I am hearing.”

The audience is encouraged to wear costumes.

The orchestra will perform all but two of the songs from the album, which was first released in 1967.

Missing will be “Within You Without You” and “Good Morning Good Morning.”

But the audience is expected to hear renditions of “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Getting Better,” “Fixing a Hole,” “She's Leaving Home,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,” “When I'm Sixty-Four,” “Lovely Rita” and “A Day in the Life.”

In addition to the album, the orchestra will perform two other Beatles songs, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and a guitar/viola rendition of “Blackbird,” Clark said.

The 37-piece orchestra — with no electric bass, drums or guitars — will supply the instrumental section, while the lyrics will be projected above the stage so the audience can sing along.

Clark, 55, who has taught in Port Townsend for two years, bought the “Sgt. Pepper” album at its release when he was 10 years old.

“That album contained some of the defining music of my youth,” Clark said after the first performance.

“It was wonderful to be able to go back and revisit it, and share it with the community.”

Clark said he would like to make “Sgt. Pepper” a tradition at the high school and bring kids to a deeper understanding of Beatles music.

“I'd love for it to continue,” he said.

“There's an energy here that we can sustain and use it to explore other avenues of this.”

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 14. 2013 6:15PM
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