Local High School String Quartet to Join Touring ‘Beatles vs. Stones’ Show at The Washington Center

From left: Jenny Jang, Helen Hauschka, Gwendolyn Bayer, Camille McLean; "Beatles Chase" Photo credit: Michelle Fairless

Submitted by Andy Nagle

When the touring show “Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown” returns to the Washington Center on Monday, February 24, a string quartet of Olympia and Capital High School students will join the professional musicians on stage to lend some local talent to this homage to the British Invasion.

The show pits Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction against rival Brit boys Abbey Road in an all-out musical showdown for rock dominance. The string quartet will perform seven songs with the bands.

Here’s the rundown:

The show: The two greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time face off in Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown. Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the nation’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They engage in a “showdown” of the hits with Stones tribute band Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. It has toured for years, with a critic for the Los Angeles Times at one point declaring: “this is the most unique tribute show in decades.” The Olympia show is part of a 125 city tour of the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The string quartet: Olympia High School juniors Jenny Jang, Helen Hauschka and sophomore Camille McLean and Capital High senior Gwen Bayer will join the bands for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Hey Jude,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Ruby Tuesday.”

Quartet members belong to prestigious area ensembles, including the Student Orchestra of Greater Olympia (SOGO), the Olympia High School Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra as well as the Capital High School Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Members consistently receive superior ratings at solo and ensemble competitions.

How the “Beatles” and “Stones” connection was started: The producers of Beatles vs. Stones approached SOGO Ensemble Coordinator Mary Jo Rydholm looking for a quartet who could hold its own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show commonly hires a local quartet to augment the production while on tour.

The quartet’s Beatles or Stones fans: Helen Hauschka and Gwen Bayer are the quartet’s Beatles and Stones fans.

“I love the Beatles so much! My favorite album is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” Helen said.

“I love both the Beatles and Stones. My favorite Stones song is ‘Paint It, Black’,” said Gwen.

The details: The two greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time face off as the Tower Theatre hosts tributes to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Renowned tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show engage in a musical showdown of the hits. Back by popular demand, Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown returns to the Washington Center Main Stage on Monday, February 24 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $38/$48/$68 and may be purchased online at www.washingtoncenter.org by phone at (360) 753-8586 or at the Theatre Box Office Tuesday through Saturday noon – 5:00 p.m and two hours before performances. The Washington Center is located at 512 Washington St. SE in Olympia, WA 98501. The show is appropriate for all ages.

And here is some additional information about the string quartet:

Camille McLean, 15, has been playing violin for nine years. She is a member of SOGO and Olympia High School’s Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Camille has participated in local solo and ensemble festivals.

“Being in orchestra is great because it allows me to be a part of a community doing something I really enjoy.”

Camille enjoys creating pottery pieces.

The sophomore hopes to continue to play violin after high school graduation.

Jenny Jang, 17, has been playing violin for nine years. She is a member of SOGO and Olympia High School’s Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra.

“For me, music has always been a stress reliever and a great way to express emotion and connect with people on another level.”

Jenny is a member of Olympia High School’s Swim Team and enjoys tutoring in her free time.The junior plans to attend college to study Neuroscience upon high school graduation.

Helen Hauschka, 17, has been playing viola for eight years. She is a member of SOGO and Olympia High School’s Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. She has advanced to state solo and ensemble competitions with OHS’ Chamber Ensemble and as a solo performer.

“I like playing viola because it is a release and I enjoy getting to be with friends.”

Helen is on the Olympia High swim team and is also the manager for the Boy’s swim team. She also participates as a member of the school’s Climate Action Club and Earth Core Club.

The junior plans to enroll in college upon high school graduation.

Gwen Bayer, 17, has been playing cello for nine years. She is a member of Capital High School’s Chamber and Symphony Orchestras. Gwen has competed in solo and ensemble festivals.

“I like playing cello for a lot of reasons, but I really like the creative outlet it gives me.

Gwen has participated in the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy and Music and More Summer Festival in Bosnia.

The senior plans to attend a four-year university upon high school graduation.

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