Avon High String Quartet Joins Beatles vs. Stones Show in Elyria

(l-r) Sarah Talmage, Sam Golik, Olivia Eldridge and (in front with cello) Michael Wilson, quartet photo taken by Jesse Martin

When the touring show Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown comes to the Stocker Arts Center/Hoke Theatre on Tuesday, September 17, the Avon 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 Elyria show is part of a 125 city tour of the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The string quartet: Avon High School seniors Olivia Eldridge and Sarah Talmage along with juniors Sam Golik and Michael Wilson 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.”

Quartet members belong to prestigious area ensembles, including the Ohio Music Educator Association Regional and All-State Orchestras.

How the “Beatles” and “Stones” connection was started: The producers of Beatles vs. Stones approached Avon High School Director of Orchestras Jesse Martin 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: Sam Golik and Olivia Eldridge are the quartet’s Beatles fans. “Oh I know a lot of Beatles songs, I enjoy them. My favorite is probably ‘Eleanor Rigby’ or ‘Blackbird,’” said Sam.

“Oh yeah! My favorite song is definitely ‘Yesterday’. I am excited to get to play it,” said Olivia.

The details: Two of the greatest bands of all time face off in a high-energy, adrenaline-pumping musical showdown. The Fab Four, represented by tribute band Abbey Road, will engage in a barrage of hits against premier Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction. Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown will perform on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 pm at the Stocker Arts Center/Hoke Theatre on the campus of Lorain County Community College. Tickets are $30 – $50 and may be purchased by phone at (440) 366-4040, in person at the Stocker Box Office or online at www.stockerartscenter.com. The Stocker Arts Center is located at 1005 N. Abbe Road, Elyria, OH 44054. The show is appropriate for all ages.

The Avon High School String Quartet:

Sam Golik, 16, has been playing violin for six years. He is a member of the Avon Electric Orchestra and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. Sam has competed at the Ohio Music Educator Association competition for four years, receiving superior ratings. “The violin is a great instrument because it is an instrument where you can make a ton of different sounds and play a range of genres.” Sam runs cross country for Avon High School, participates in Student Council and competes with the Academic Challenge team. The junior plans to attend college upon high school graduation.

Sarah Talmage, 17, has been playing violin for six years. She is a member of the OMEA All-State and Regional Orchestras. Sarah has competed in both solo and quartet competitions with OMEA. “I like that playing violin allows me to participate in a group activity.” Sarah enjoys performing the violin at local nursing homes as a volunteer. The senior plans to attend college after high school graduation.

Olivia Eldridge, 17, has been playing viola for seven years. She is a member of the Avon Electric Orchestra and has competed with OMEA solo and ensemble competitions. “I have always been a fan of string instruments, and getting to play with people makes me a well-rounded and better person.” Olivia is the President of Avon High’s Drama Club and participates in the National Honor Society. The senior plans to attend Kent State and major in Music Education.

Michael Wilson, 16, has been playing cello for five years. He performs with the OMEA Northeast Regional Orchestra and has competed in county solo and ensemble competitions, receiving superior ratings. “Orchestra is fun because it allows us to do what we love, while being surrounded by people who push us to be better musicians.” Michael is a member of the Avon Cross Country team and Swim team. He also enjoys playing piano. The junior hopes to attend college upon high school graduation.

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