Beatlemania with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra

Posted March 24, 2010, at 5:14 p.m.

The swirling, anxious string quartet that forms the backbone of “Eleanor Rigby.” The bright, cheerful trumpet line from “Penny Lane.” The discordant crescendo in “A Day in the Life” that builds to an almost unbearable climax. The Beatles — and their bona fide genius producer and arranger George Martin — set the standard for orchestral arrangements in pop music.

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra gets to play in its musical sandbox this Saturday, in a concert featuring original members of the Broadway show “Beatlemania!” and presented in collaboration with the Collins Center for the Arts. “Classical Mystery Tour,” planned for 8 p.m. Saturday at the CCA on the University of Maine campus, is (to paraphrase a guy who also loved the Beatles) a really big show.

“I knew we’d sell out completely,” said David Whitehill, executive director of the BSO. “We haven’t sold out a show completely in a very long time, so it’s very exciting. There’s a lot of really good buzz. We only have a small handful of tickets left. People have really responded to this.”

After all — it’s the Beatles. No band is more recognizable or timeless. Three generations of people have grown up loving them, and more generations undoubtedly will continue to do so. For the first major pops concert the BSO has offered in decades, they sure picked a winner.

“This [“Beatlemania!”] group has had great success all over the country, playing with different orchestras,” said Whitehill. “They’re really the best. And I think the symphony is having a lot of fun playing the music that so many of them have known and loved for so long.”

Despite the timeless quality of the Beatles music, the recent remastered reissues of their catalog and the wildly popular “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game have contributed to a newfound Beatles buzz. The timing for this concert couldn’t be more perfect, and the nearly sold-out Collins Center will rock with the sounds of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “I Am the Walrus” and many other orchestral songs the Fab Four wrote.

“People are ready to get out and enjoy themselves. It’s almost spring [weather]. We’re finding that parents are bringing their children, and a lot of people who have never been to a BSO concert have bought tickets,” said Whitehill. “For the symphony, it’s a chance to play the music they all know so well. “We’re doing replica arrangements to the ones of the albums, so there’s no bassoon or timpani. It’s a lot of fun.”

A limited number of tickets for “Classical Mystery Tour,” priced at $27-$45 still are available. Tickets may be ordered by calling the Collins Center box office at 800-622-TIXX or by visiting www.collinscenterforthearts.com.

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