The Windsor Symphony Orchestra & Jeans ‘n Classics
The Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) welcomes Jeans ‘n Classics for the presentation of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 8 p.m. in the Chrysler Theatre.
June 1, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of this eighth studio album released by The Beatles. Acknowledged as an immediate commercial and critical success, this “concept” album went on to earn four Grammy Awards, including “Album of the Year” and unleashed the creative predominance of Paul McCartney within the Fab Four. It spent 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom, 15 weeks as number one in the U.S. music charts, and was a number one hit in Canada and other parts of the world.
According to their website: JeansnClassics.com, they are “a group of musicians who understand orchestra culture and are committed to help in the building of younger, loyal audiences for symphony orchestras across North America.”
For the past 20 years, the London, ON based group has worked “with over 100 orchestras in venues throughout North America, and have created almost 1,000 original rock and pop orchestrations which are presented across 45 unique and exciting productions.”
They return to Windsor this year for their fourth appearance, which began in 2014 featuring the music of Queen, followed by Pink Floyd in 2015 and a challenging Led Zeppelin show in 2016. The 2014 Queen show at the 600 seat Capitol Theatre was so successful, that shows in subsequent years were moved to the 1,100 seat Chrysler Theatre — all were sell outs.
I asked Robert Franz, WSO Music Director, about the challenges presented to a traditional symphony orchestra in bridging to “contemporary” music. He replies, “One of the great things about Jeans ‘n Classics is that they help make the bridge between these two musical worlds very easy. The truth is that the bridge isn’t nearly as far as people would think. Music is such a profound language that much like any other language, you can alter it to express different thoughts or ideas. For us, performing music of the Beatles is as natural as performing the music of Beethoven.”
The March show is a collaboration between Jeans ‘n Classics Peter Brennan and the WSO’s Associate Conductor, Peter Wiebe.
It is important to note that Jeans ‘n Classics is not a tribute band. So, don’t expect to see a Fab Four look-alike on stage.
Wiebe points out, “their approach is to faithfully represent the original recordings, enhanced with orchestral backing. While they don’t take the “note-for-note” approach used by some tribute bands, they are nevertheless loyal to the original sound and arrangements of these classic songs.”
Jeans ‘n Classics Windsor appearance features Jean Meilleur, lead; vocalists Leah Salomaa and Kathryn Rose; Dave Dunlop, guitar/vocals; Jeff Christmas, drummer; Darryl Stacey, bass and John Regan, pianist/vocals. They join a full ensemble of the WSO.