Edmonds-Woodway High School’s (EWHS) String Quartet has been invited to join the touring show, In My Life: A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles as the tribute show returns to Edmonds Center for the Arts, on Sunday, Nov. 12.
EWHS Orchestra director and music history/music theory educator Karen Helseth explains, “When the show returns this year, the audience should be on the lookout for two quartets — not just one.
“The Edmonds-Woodway High School String Quartet will have the privilege of joining the professional musicians on stage to add an element of orchestral texture to the evening.”
In My Life is the musical retelling of the Beatles story through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and features the live music of tribute band, Abbey Road.
The show played to capacity audiences at ECA in 2014 and 2015, and is appropriate for all ages.
The EWHS string quartet selected for November’s show include seniors Helen Nguyen and Elaina Johnson. Juniors James Gamboa and Andrew Tjandra will be on stage for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye” and “Hey Jude.”
In addition to being principals in the Edmonds-Woodway Philharmonic Orchestra and Camerata (the most advanced ensemble), quartet members perform with many prestigious ensembles including the All-State Orchestra. All of the members regularly receive superior ratings at Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) solo and ensemble competitions.
The collaboration between the producers of In My Life and the EWHS orchestra began in 2014 when Helseth was approached by the troupe looking for an ensemble which, as Helseth describes, “Could hold their own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show hired an EWHS string quartet that year and again in 2015 to accompany when the production performed at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.”
“Edmonds-Woodway has one of the strongest music programs in the country and we try to hire [from that campus] whenever we return to the area,” says co-producer Tom Maher.
All of the EWHS quartet members are Beatles fans. Nguyen performed with the show two years ago and became a Beatles fan. “My favorite Beatles song is “Eleanor Rigby” and I’m very excited that we get to perform this song in the “In My Life” show.”
Gamboa says, “My dad had an old stereo and we used to listen to Beatles albums when I was young. I love the beautiful harmonies of “Yesterday.”
Tjandra’s favorite Fab Four tune is “Yellow Submarine” and Johnson prefers “Mother Nature’s Son.”
The EWHS String Quartet performs at community events and weddings and is available for hire. For bookings, Karen Helseth invites inquiries at 425.431.6230.
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