Touring Beatles tribute to feature local student musicians
By Emily Sorensen
Beatlemania is coming to Poway Oct. 5, and with it, four Del Norte High School students.
A touring Beatles musical, “In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles,” featuring the live music of renowned Beatles tribute band Abbey Road, will also feature a little local talent. The Del Norte String Quartet, made up of Luke Lin, first violin, Casey Zhang, viola, Julia Zhu, second violin, and Takamu Maruo, cello, and conducted by Del Norte High School’s Jennifer Kitelinger, will perform three songs live on stage during the show. “In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles,” is being performed 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road.
The quartet was originally formed by Kitelinger in June to perform in the touring musical’s Vista performance, but Kitelinger said forming a string quarter was something she’d wanted to do anyway. “I wanted to do [string] quarter music,” said Kitelinger.
While Marua and Zhu both performed in the show previously in Vista, Lin and Zhang were brought in to replace two original members, Christie Merrill, first violin, and Rick Jung, viola, who could not be in the Poway show due to scheduling conflicts.
The students will be performing two classic Beatles songs, “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby,” as well as the John Lennon song “Imagine.” The cast will perform live with the cast, including Tyson Kelly as John Lennon, Benjamin Chadwick as Paul McCartney, Robert Bielma as George Harrison, Axel Clarke as Ringo Starr and Mark Nager as Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
While the student string quartet is excited to perform in the show, most of them admitted that prior to being recruited to perform, they weren’t familiar with the Beatles’ music. “I wasn’t a Beatles fan before,” said Lin. “I had to learn the music.” Zhu was a little more generous, saying she had liked some of the songs prior to the show, but “wasn’t really a fan [of the band.]”
Luke Lin is a junior and has been playing the violin for six years. In addition to performing in the string quartet, he is also in the Del Norte orchestra, and in his church’s string quartet. This is his first professional performance.
Casey Zhang is a sophomore and plays viola. Zhang said she had only been playing the viola for two years, and this is also her first professional performance. “Yeah, I’m pretty excited,” Zhang said.
Julia Zhu, a sophomore, plays second violin and performed in the Beatles show in Vista. “The show was really fun,” said Zhu. “I liked how they reenacted the Beatles’ life.” Zhu also performs in the San Diego Young Artists Symphony.
Takamu Maruo, a sophomore, has played cello for five years. Maruo has performed for two years with the San Diego Youth Orchestra, and is in the Del Norte Orchestra.
Tickets for “In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” range from $20 – $35 for adults, and $18 – $25 for children and seniors. All regularly priced tickets are $10 off with the coupon code “beatles” through Friday, Sept. 28 online at www.powaycenter.com or by phoning the box office at 858-748-0505.
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