Beatlemore Skidmania celebrates 20th anniversary
Beatlemore Skidmania, the popular annual concert that features Skidmore students’ reinterpretations of Beatles classics, will be celebrated virtually this year as the Skidmore tradition marks its 20th anniversary. The performance will be released at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, and can be viewed for free on the Beatlemore Skidmania webpage.
This year’s theme is “The Complete Beatles: ‘Please Please Me’ to ‘Let It Be.’” Interpretations of any song from the band’s vast catalog were considered. Also included will be important conversations about the relationship between the Beatles and Black American songwriters and musicians.
Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Joel Brown worked with a committee of students to organize this year’s event.
“Beatlemore Skidmania brings out the incredible creativity and talents of so many of our students from a wide variety of backgrounds — not just music majors — and is beloved by the campus community, greater Saratoga Springs community and alumni,” said Brown. “We are proud to continue this event and share it with as many people as possible in the safest way possible.”
The students who organize and manage the concert each year recruit and audition performers, work with an art class on the design, selection and sale of posters and T-shirts, and develop a marketing and advertising plan. The design for the 2020 T-shirt and logo was created by Maddy Tyler ’21.
The popular event began two decades ago when Professor of Music Emeritus Gordon Thompson, who taught courses and led seminars on the Beatles, and his students developed an informal, end-of-semester musical celebration to uplift spirits in the wake of 9/11. Twenty years later, Beatlemore Skidmania has become an important social and artistic tradition for Skidmore. In 2014, Skidmore College awarded Beatlemore Skidmania a President's Award "for embracing the educational mission and progressive spirit of the College through exemplary commitment to personal excellence, campus pride and community service."
In recent years, Beatlemore has regularly sold out its three annual shows, filling the Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall of the Arthur Zankel Music Center to capacity and drawing hundreds of livestream viewers. To assure the health and safety of students, employees and fans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event will be presented exclusively online.
For those looking to brush up on creative interpretations of Beatles classics in advance of Friday evening’s debut event, a video archive of past performances is also available on the Beatlemore Skidmania webpage.