This week, it's the Fab 145

It's been a hard six weeks, and students have been working like dogs for the combination Beatles and ELO show in Huntington Beach.

October 31, 2012|By Brittany Woolsey
  • Kelsey Black sings during a rehearsal for the Beatles Revolver/ELO Benefit Concert as part of the Classic Album Series put on by the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts. The show is Thursday and Friday at the First Christian Church of Huntington Beach.
Kelsey Black sings during a rehearsal for the Beatles… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

When he was 3, Addison Love was voted the "Beatles Fan of the New Millennium" at Beatlefest by playing a toy guitar and singing "A Hard Day's Night" with his father.

Now 16, Addison is getting a chance to take his fandom to the next level — playing Beatles songs live in front of an audience with fluorescent lights and cameras that project his image on a screen behind him.

"It's always a rush getting up on the stage performing music, especially since this music is so close to me and a part of my life," he said.

Addison is one of 145 Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts students who will perform songs from the Beatles' iconic "Revolver" album, as well as hits by Electric Light Orchestra at this weekend's annual Music Media and Entertainment Technology (MMET) classic rock showcase.

For the last six weeks, the MMET students have been practicing tirelessly, learning chords and choreography in nearly five-hour rehearsals four nights a week.


Like the Beatles, who utilized new technology to help make them one of the biggest bands in history, the students learn all aspects of concert production. For the nearly two-hour show, the students will not only perform the music, but also embrace all the duties of a live concert, from filming clips that will be projected on screens in the venue to creating graphics and controlling sound and lighting, among other jobs.

Jamie Knight, an MMET instructor, called the program "edutainment."

"We look at it as an extension of our classroom, and we teach the audience with our performances," he said.

Knight said that the program is unique in that the students learn popular music, not classical.

He also said that he and fellow MMET instructor Michael Simmons believe that this generation of children has grown up with music-editing software and video-editing software, so it is important that they learn how to use these technologies if they want to be musicians.

The Beatles, Knight said, are a perfect group for his students because the band is "timeless," and he looks to them as a "launching point" for the program.

"Whether you like the Beatles or not, they came of age as a band when things were changing," he said. "They wrote their own music and created new techniques in the studio."

For each MMET concert, the performers have a six-week period to learn the music, create projected films for intermissions between songs and learn choreography.

"It's intense, but that's what they have to learn for the real world," Knight said.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles