NICEVILLE — The classic music album format was already on the wane when Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra members were born, but tonight the talented musicians will have a hand in its revival.
The students will join members of the Pensacola-based White Tie Rock Ensemble to perform "The Beatles: Abbey Road" in concert as Brian Brown, the youth orchestra's new director, makes his debut.
“As my first concert with the NFSYO, I wanted to create a fun and entertaining event that would help raise funds needed for scholarships and support for our youth symphony programs," Brown said.
White Tie Rock Ensemble leader Jonathan Clark said his group's mission is to help classic album music live again in the age of digital music downloads.
“Our classic concert series enables any fan, 8 to 80, to enjoy a timeless art form," Clark said. "At our events, liner notes are read, cover art appreciated and the B-side is not forgotten."
With its famous cover photo of the four lads from Liverpool — including the barefoot and out-of-step Paul McCartney — crossing Abbey Road in London, the 1969 album resulted from The Beatles' last recording session together.
The legendary band officially split up the following year.
Many songs from "Abbey Road" — including "Something," "Here Comes the Sun" and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" — have become rock standards, and the album was The Beatles' best-selling record.
Just as The Beatles used electronic musical sound effects on "Abbey Road," the NWFSYO continues the band's pioneering tradition of enhancing rock music with unexpected instruments.
"Long live the side long epic!" Clark said. "Long live the concept album!”
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: "The Beatles: Abbey Road" performed by the White Tie Rock Ensemble and the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. May 15
WHERE: Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Northwest Florida State College, Niceville
TICKETS: $22 at the Box Office, 729-6000 or at www.MattieKellyArtsCenter.org
NOTES: Proceeds benefit the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra