"Performing, Promoting, Networking, Organizing, Managing, and Enjoying Music. It's what we do." That's the motto of No Jackets Required, a student organization at the University of Rochester. And in March, that motto will come alive as the group presents a two-hour tribute to the Beatles. The concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, March 2, in the May Room of Wilson Commons on the University's River Campus, will feature more than 50 student musicians performing some of the Beatles' most popular numbers.
For this show, No Jackets Required is returning to its roots. When the student organization launched in 2007, the inaugural show also was a tribute to the British rock band, where musicians performed the legendary Magical Mystery Tour album in its entirety. In recent years, the group has collaborated with several campus performance groups, including UR Hip Hop, Off Broadway On Campus, and UR Swing Dance Club, to present an array of musical styles in an effort to strengthen the University's music community.
"We are hoping to spread the performance and appreciation of popular music," said Andrew Brink '14, business manager for No Jackets Required. "By presenting popular music as performance art, we've been able to find really creative ways of bringing together musicians from around campus."
This year's concert will feature three sets, the first of which will take audience members through the Beatles' earlier sound, including such Beatlemania classics as Please Please Me, A Hard Day's Night, and We Can Work it Out. The second set is devoted to the band's groundbreaking psychedelic era, sampling heavily from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, and the eponymous White Album. For the final set, musicians will "Come Together" to reproduce the entire Abbey Road medley, as well as other choice cuts from that iconic album as well as selections from Let it Be.
Because of the complicated harmonies that occur in several of the numbers, two back-up singers will accompany each lead singer, in addition to traditional rock instruments, including guitars, bass, and drums. Orchestral instruments including trombones and trumpets will replicate the horn arrangements heard on several of the albums and select songs will feature the unique sound of melodicas and kazoos. In addition to the three larger sets, acoustic interludes such as Blackbird and Yesterday will maintain the show's momentum.
Brink is optimistic that the concert will provide both the University and Greater Rochester community with a venue for music appreciation. "This show is a strong candidate to blend those worlds together," he explained. "We're excited to bring people together to celebrate one of the greatest and most influential bands to ever have existed."
Tickets to the performance, which are $3 for University undergraduates, $4 for graduate students, faculty, and staff, and $5 for the general public, can be purchased at the Common Market beginning Friday, Feb. 17, or at the door (cash only). For additional information about the show, visit No Jackets Required on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.