Although it’s 2013 and not 1963, the halls of Skidmore College are abuzz with Beatlemania. Each fall before Thanksgiving, students, faculty, and the Skidmore community gear up for the annual Beatles tribute concert, Beatlemore Skidmania.
We spoke with Professor Gordon Thompson, the man behind the student group that plans the event. We also got a chance to chat with student David Slitzky about his experience as a performer and an organizer of the incredibly popular concert.
Skidmore College Professor Gordon Thompson has taught a seminar on the Beatles since 1997, a concept he admits “raised a few eyebrows” in the beginning. The seminar is now a cornerstone class at Skidmore. Thompson believes the seminar quickly grew in popularity “because students realized they were doing something special.”
This year’s concert is different in that Beatles fans and musicians will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Beatlemania beginning in the U.K. Slitzky tells us, “the songs selected are all from the Beatles’ 1963 records Please Please Me and With the Beatles, plus the singles they released that year.” The most important part of the concert is that student bands don’t just perform the songs, they reinterpret Beatles classics. Slitzky remarks, “We’ve got some wildly original arrangements that sound fantastic.”
Beatlemore Skidmania 2013 poster design by Student Lea Carey