The Beatlemore legend lives on
The 18th annual Beatlemore Skidmania invaded Skidmore College for three incredible shows.
From curating the acts to promoting ticket sales, soliciting merchandise, overseeing production of shirts, posters and more, this Skidmore tradition is a labor of love for a dedicated group of students and Joel Brown, a distinguished artist-in-residence in music.
On a campus where creative thought thrives, there was an abundance of acts to choose from and whittling the set list down to a two-hour show couldn’t have been easy. But judging from the talent I saw, I can attest the Nov. 16-17 performances would have even gotten John, Paul, George and Ringo up and dancing.
The performances embodied the magic that occurs when you merge a passionate community with creative thought. Words cannot describe the feeling of raising your voice to meet the musical swell of an entire concert hall singing together, arm in arm.
Even better, it’s all for a good cause. Since Beatlemore started 18 years ago, it has raised more than $80,000 for Skidmore Cares, a program that provides much-needed supplies to local charities.
But the student musical talent was what everyone was talking about.
Nearly 2,000 concertgoers, through three sold-out shows, witnessed an incredible range of tempos, moods and instrumentation this year — from acapella groups and solo singers to brass and rock bands.
“It was definitely a special experience,” said one performer. “The event is just enormous, you know? The whole school goes. To perform my favorite songs alongside my friends for my community to enjoy was surreal.”
“When it’s over, I cannot believe we have to wait another year to do it again,” said Brown. “The Beatles were such an important part of my musical formation and it’s so great to know that 50 years later, students are still interested in their music and three full audiences want to hear what they’ll do with it.”
But it wasn’t just on-campus fans who heard unique Beatles renditions, there was also a large online audience of alumni and parents tuned in to the livestream.
Sharon DeMeyer P '22, commenting on the livestream, watched from the West Coast, "The show was fantastic! It was so great to be able to watch it from California ... break a leg my dear Sonnateers!" And Lisa Turner Giberson P '20 tuned in from Texas, "Loved watching this from afar in Austin!"
The Beatlemore committee has made a tradition out of recognizing the 50th anniversaries of Beatles albums. This year, the evening was dedicated to the anniversary of “The Beatles,” the 1968 album most commonly known as “The White Album.”
Most of the songs on the double album came out of a transcendental meditation course in India in 1968. Having reached No. 1 on the charts in both the United States and the U.K., many critics view it as one of the greatest albums of all time.
So, could it have possibly been Skidmore’s greatest show of all time? As I keep humming "Blackbird" and "Helter Skelter," I’d be hard pressed to argue. But, if the 50th-anniversary tradition continues, we may very well have another exceptional show in store for us next year dedicated to “Abbey Road.” While I don’t know how the committee and the performers could possibly top this year, I have no doubt they will.
Beatlemore Skidmania started as a small project in 2000 and drew only a couple dozen audience members. In the eighteen years since, it has transformed into an essential part of the Skidmore community and beyond.
Missed the show? Watch a recording of the livestream. Then mark your calendar for next year. This is a tradition you cannot miss.