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Buchanan High String Quartet to join the pros

CLOVIS, Calif. - Oct. 11, 2017 - EntSun -- When the touring show "In My Life - A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles" returns to the Tower Theatre, be on the lookout for two quartets -- not just one.

The Buchanan High School (Clovis) String Quartet will have the privilege of joining the professional actors on stage to add an element of orchestral texture to the evening.

The show: "In My Life" is the musical retelling of the Beatles story through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and features the live music of renowned tribute band, Abbey Road. The band features Chris Paul Overall ("Paul"), Nathaniel Bott ("John"), Zak Schaffer ("George") and Axel Clarke ("Ringo"). Brian Epstein is played by Murphy Martin. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. It has toured for years, with a critic for the L.A. Times at one point declaring, "The show delivers where it counts, which is to say, the hits keep coming." The production is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades. The show played to capacity audiences at Tower in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Abbey Road's "Beatles vs. Stones" performed to a sold out audience at Tower in 2015.

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The string quartet: Senior Peter Thao, junior Brianna Alconcher, sophomore Kalvin Xiong  and freshman Solon Ma will join the band for the songs "Eleanor Rigby," "Yesterday," "A Day in the Life," "Hello Goodbye," and "Hey Jude." In a special touch, "Yesterday" is played as a scene in which the Paul McCartney character plays the song for the first time for Beatles producer George Martin, with the songwriter explaining that he envisioned a string-quartet accompaniment.

In addition to performing with the Buchanan Chamber Orchestra, quartet members belong to prestigious area ensembles, including the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO),which is the most advanced ensemble of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno,  and the Fresno-Madera Music Educators Association (FMCMEA) Honors Orchestra.

How the "Beatles" connection was started: The producers of "In My Life" approached Buchanan High Director of Orchestras John Lacklooking for a talented ensemble which could hold their own with a rock band in front of an audience. The producers hired BHS String Quartets to perform with the show in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

"Buchanan High has one of the strongest music programs in the country and we try to hire them whenever we return to the region," said co-producer Tom Maher.

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The quartet's Beatles fans: Alconcher, Xiong and Thao are the quartet's Beatles fans.

Thao's favorite Beatles song is "Eleanor Rigby."

"I'm excited we get to play "Eleanor Rigby" in the Beatles show," said Thao.

Alconcher's favorite Fab Four tune is "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" and Xiong prefers "I Am the Walrus."

Quartet for hire: The BHS String Quartet performs at community events and weddings. They may be contacted by contacting John Lack at JohnLack@clovisusd.k12.ca.us

The details: "In My Life - A Musical Theatre Tribute to The Beatles" is the award-winning musical biography of The Beatles through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and features the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. The multi-media production returns to the Tower Theatre on Friday, October 20 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $29/$39 and may be purchased online at www.towertheatrefresno.com by phone at (559) 485-9050 or at the theatre box office. Tower Theatre is located at 815 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA 93728. The show is appropriate for all ages.

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