Local High School String Quartet To Join The Pros In Abbey Road's CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEATLES, December 17

Local high school string quartet to join the pros in Abbey Road's Christmas with The Beatles at UIS Performing Arts Center on December 17th

By: Dec. 04, 2023
Local High School String Quartet To Join The Pros In Abbey Road's CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEATLES, December 17
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Local High School String Quartet To Join The Pros In Abbey Road's CHRISTMAS WITH THE BEATLES, December 17

When the nationally touring Christmas with the Beatles show comes to the UIS Performing Arts Center on Sunday, December 17, the Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestra String Quartet will join the professional musicians on stage to lend some local talent to this homage to the British Invasion.

Featuring all the top hits of the Beatles along with some great holiday tunes, Abbey Road's Christmas with The Beatles promises to be a night of fun. Abbey Road recreates an authentic Beatles concert experience, with period-accurate costume changes, too. It has toured for years and the band has honed their show to become one of the most musically and visually satisfying Beatle tribute acts in the world.

The string quartet: Springfield High School students Finn Powell and Madelyn Beck, Glenwood High's Madeline Bollman and Havana High student Clare Specketer will join the band for the songs "Eleanor Rigby," "A Day in the Life," "Hello Goodbye," and "Hey Jude."

Quartet members consistently receive superior ratings at solo and ensemble competitions. Members belong to prestigious area ensembles, including the Illinois Symphony Youth Orchestra (ISYO), Illinois All-State Orchestra and the Blue Lake International Orchestra.

How the "Beatles" connection was started: The producers of Abbey Road approached ISYO Programs Manager Jackie Mitra looking for a talented ensemble of high school students which could hold their own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show commonly reaches out to local high school orchestras, making donations to their school music programs in exchange for student participation.

Renowned tribute band Abbey Road brings its Christmas with the Beatles show to UIS Performing Arts Center on Sunday, December 17. The Springfield show is part of a 125 city Abbey Road tour of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.



The quartet's Beatles fans: All quartet members are Beatles fans.

‘Blackbird' is Beck's favorite Beatles song, “It's very sentimental to me.”

Bollman's favorite song is ‘Now and Then.'

Powell's favorite Beatles songs are ‘Across the Universe' and ‘For No One.'

Specketer's favored Beatles song is ‘Eleanor Rigby.'

Here's some information about the quartet members:

Madelyn Beck, 17, is a senior at Springfield High School. She has been playing the violin for nine years. She was introduced to the violin through her mom's colleague, both teachers, who taught violin. In addition to ISYO Madelyn performs with ensembles at her church.

Madelyn is actively involved with her school, including sports but music and playing the violin with the orchestra is what she enjoys the most, “I love having that break in my schedule to do something I really enjoy. I love hearing the melodies come together from different instruments like the wind instruments, the cellos, and the violins - everything coming together just sounds beautiful!”

After high school, Madelyn plans to double major in Graphic Design and Marketing. She will also continue to play the violin, “I really want to be involved with any symphonies and music programs at a school.”

Madeline Bollman, 17, is a senior at Glenwood High School in Chatham, IL. She has been playing the violin for twelve years. When she was five years old, Madeline's mother asked her if she wanted to play the violin, “I said ‘Yeah of course!' I had no idea what it meant but I said ‘Yeah!'”

When playing the violin, Madeline is moved by the feeling of performing for people, “With the symphony, my private teacher, and other gigs - I love how people get excited and emotional when I play, it's a good feeling to watch that.” She also enjoys the “strong community-feeling” with the ISYO, “We're all very good friends. I've been with the same people since the third grade so it's been fun to watch us grow.”

After high school, she hopes to attend Oklahoma State (“That's definitely my number one!”) and obtain an Agricultural Business degree. Madeline plans on continuing to play the violin with her college orchestra.

Finn Powell, 17, is a senior at Springfield High School. He has been playing the viola for nine years. Finn originally showed interest in the cello before picking up the viola, “I couldn't play the cello and I really wanted to play so I thought that viola would be the next closest thing!”

Finn enjoys being part of a symphony, “I like being surrounded by so many other music players and being able to hear it all come together. With the viola, I think it's a nice balance between the violin and cello, it can play an important role even it's not as noticeable as the other instruments.” Finn also appreciates the opportunities the ISYO gives him, “It's nice to have the opportunity to play in a large ensemble.”

After high school, Finn plans to attend college and study Political Science. He hopes to continue to play the viola with a community-based ensemble.

Clare Specketer, 15, is a freshman at Havana High School in Havana, IL. She has been playing the cello for nine years. Clare originally wanted to play the violin but to avoid competition with her sister, her mom suggested the cello. Aside from the ISYO, Clare has performed with the Blue Lake International Orchestra and will also be participating in the Illinois All-State Orchestra.

“I like the variety of being able to go really low and really high. I like the variety of genres you can play on the cello.” When performing with her orchestra, Clare enjoys the sense of togetherness and bond between people.

The freshman is uncertain of her post high school plans. From medical school to music to law, one thing for sure is to continue to play music, “I plan on playing the cello for as long as I can!”


CALENDAR: Abbey Road's Christmas with the Beatles comes to the UIS Performing Arts Center on Sunday, December 17 at 7:00 pm. Featuring all the top hits of the Beatles along with some great holiday tunes, Abbey Road's Christmas With The Beatles promises to be a night of fun. Tickets are $28.50-$78.50 and may be purchased online at UISpac.com by phone at (217) 206-6160 or at the UIS Ticket Office. The show is appropriate for all ages.




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