LAFAYETTE — When the touring show Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown comes to the Long Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, September 24, the West Lafayette High School String Quartet 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 Lafayette show is part of a 125 city tour of the U.S., Canada and Australia.
The string quartet: West Lafayette High seniors Tushar Sardesai, Alex Lee and Christina Shi and junior Julia Kostraba will join the bands for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Hey Jude,” “As Tears Go By,” and “Ruby Tuesday.”
The quartet members belong to prestigious area ensembles, including the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra and consistently receive superior ratings at Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) solo and ensemble competitions.
The producers of Beatles vs. Stones approached WLHS Orchestra Co-Directors Carol Letcher and Michelle Brooks 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.
Tushar Sardesai, 16, has been playing the violin for ten years. He is a member of the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. “When getting to try all the instruments, violin really stood out to me because of the high and low sounds it makes.” Tushar participates in West Lafayette High’s club Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). He is a member of the school’s soccer team and competes on the robotics team. The senior plans to attend college after high school graduation.
Alex Lee, 16, has been playing violin for ten years. He is a member of the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. “I like that orchestra gives me the opportunity to make a lot of friends.” He is a member of West Lafayette High’s soccer team. He also participates in the school’s Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. The senior plans to attend college and study Engineering.
Christina Shi, 17, has been playing viola for two years, after playing the violin for many years. She is a member of the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. Christina has participated in the Indiana State School Music Association as well as regional and state levels of the full symphony competition. “Orchestra gives me a group to belong to, and allows me to get close to a tight-knit community.” She is a member of West Lafayette High’s Health Occupations Students of America club and is also on Student Council. The senior plans to go to college and study pre-med.
Julia Kostraba, 16, has been playing cello for nine years. She is a member of the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra. “The cello is the closest instrument in range with the human voice so it’s a wonderful instrument with lots of great pieces from great composers.” She is a member of the gymnastic team at West Lafayette High. The junior plans to attend college upon high school completion.
The members of the quartet are also members of the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony, a local full symphony orchestra, and selected to participate in the Indiana All-State Orchestra.
The West Lafayette High School orchestra program has a long established history of excellence. Students are given the opportunity to begin violin, viola, cello and bass in the 4th grade and many continue each year until graduation. Each high school class participates in the state ISSMA contest, where all three orchestras earned the highest possible rating, Gold with Distinction, last spring. All students, grade 7-12, also participate in Solo and Ensemble contest, with the vast majority earning Gold ratings.