Sprague Students to Play with Beatles Show


Beatles fans, the Historic Elsinore Theatre has a treat for you. The national tour of “In My Life — A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” is coming to the Elsinore on Oct. 24.

From their music to their cheeky onstage banter, the show aims to give audience members of all ages the chance to “be there” with John, Paul, George and Ringo through it all.

A quartet of young Salem musicians from Sprague and West Salem high schools also will be there. The Etherius String Quartet will play onstage with the professional cast. Their members are: Joseph Miletta, Nicholas Silver, Hendrik Mobley, and Damon Zavala.

As the show travels from city to city, co-producer Andy Nagle books local talent, usually high school quartets, to play.

“The experience for young musicians is positive and rewarding,” Nagle said. “They get an opportunity to work with musicians who make a living playing music and to see the internal workings of a touring show.”

Joseph Miletta is the founding member and first violinist of Etherius. The ensemble has played for the Oregon House of Representatives, the Alzheimer's Network of Oregon and Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland. This will be its first collaboration with a professional company.

“Rehearsing with new people and getting to work with new people is always an eye-opening experience,” Miletta said. “It’s going to help us understand what we have to do in the future.”

Miletta is a senior at Sprague and hopes to attend the University of Oregon to pursue a career in music education. He formed Etherius — the name is derived from “ethereal,” which means divinely beautiful — in May 2014. He wanted the challenge of playing advanced literature outside the comfort of school and larger ensembles.

He's joined by Sprague sophomores Nicky Silver and Damon Zavala who play violin and viola respectively. Cellist Hendrik Mobley, a senior at West Salem, rounds out the quartet. Mobley hopes to attend the University of Oregon and become a music teacher. He’s familiar with the Beatles’ sound.

“I listened to a lot of Beatles music growing up because my father is a fan,” Mobley said.

Miletta’s mother, Julie Miletta, manages the quartet’s bookings. Joseph Miletta remembers her singing “Yellow Submarine” to him when he was little. Silver’s favorite Beatles song is “Twist and Shout.”

“In My Life” utilizes music from throughout the Beatles’ career to show the evolution of their sound. Everything from the youthful “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the psychedelic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” era, the haunting “Blackbird” and the raucous rock and roll of “Revolution” gets a nod.

Etherius will join the company for five numbers: “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello, Goodbye” and “Hey Jude.” In one scene, Paul McCartney introduces “Yesterday” to the band’s manager and explains his vision for a string quartet to accompany the piece.

“I’m excited to explore a different genre of music,” Miletta said. “Other members of the quartet feel the same way because they don’t get outside of the classical zone much.”

Original Article By Tom Mayhall Rastrelli, Statesman Journal (10-15-15)


  • Created By Carter McQuigg -- 4/26/2017

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