Conference to showcase four ’60s musical legends

By Modjina Ovil

Beatles fans are invited to take a Ticket to Rider on Dec. 5 to attend a conference that will take place from 3-8 p.m. in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater.

Professor of music Stephen Arthur Allen will be the host. Allen has been teaching a course since 2005 that places emphasis on the Beatles and their music; he has also been an advocate for educating the public on the Beatles by attending conferences and starting what is now the well-known, award-winning “Beatles Go Brass,” a series with the Princeton Brass Band, Rider’s ensemble-in-residence.

Allen will also take part in a talk entitled, “Concerning the Curious Case of Mr. John Lennon.” There, he will discuss the odd relationship between John Lennon and his mother. Allen also will discuss how Lennon’s personal relationship had a huge influence on his music.

“I just want people to be knowledgeable about the Beatles,” stated Allen.

Programs will also include, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles,” by English professor Kenneth Womack from Monmouth University, who is also the dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Junior popular music culture major Victoria DeLena will take part in the speaker program and present, “From Me to You: Through Sound and Emotion,” where she’ll exhibit works by modern day musicians who have been inspired by the Beatles.

Special guest Alan LeBouf, an international Paul McCartney artist, will perform and discuss his career as a professional Beatles tribute performer. “Beatles Go Brass” will also be featured in the performances with LeBouf.

The concert will feature some of the best-known songs by the Beatles, including “Yesterday,” “All You Need is Love” and “Hey Jude.”

Allen founded the Princeton Brass Band in 2004 to offer a variety of performances that are accessible to regional audiences. Since then, the band has been recognized for its accomplishments including winning the National Brass Band Association (NBBA) National Champions in 2013. It was made the official ensemble-in-residence at Rider in 2011.

This is the first Beatles Conference to take place at Rider, and although Allen is unsure if the conference will become a yearly event, he is hopeful that students will walk away with knowledge about one of the most influential bands to date.

The conference, which took six months to prepare, aims to familiarize the Rider community with the popular music culture major, along with building interest in the Beatles.

“Not only will students learn about the greatest band in history and its impact, but they will also get informed about the incredible work we are doing in the popular music studies degree,” Allen said. “This degree is really about understanding popular music in all its richness, and the Beatles are a central key to seeing this.”

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