FOR one night only at the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, music from the likes of Mozart, Bach, Chopin and Handel will stand aside for Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr.
The orchestra, which turns 40 this season, is taking a first step into pops material tonight with Fab: Beatles + Strings.
The MCO will team up with rock 'n' rollers Dan Donahue, Laurie MacKenzie, Bill Wallace, Neil Weisensel, Greg Gardner and Ilena Zaramba to perform two sets of Beatles songs at Westminster United Church.
The World Village Gospel Choir will also take part.
"It's a real privilege to have these excellent musicians working together," said MCO executive director Vicki Young. "It's really exciting to learn what could be done by such really good players."
The concert coincides with a turning point in music history. Feb. 9 is the 50th anniversary of the band's first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a moment many say sparked the Beatlemania legend that remains as strong as ever all these years later.
"Good music is good music," said MCO executive director Vicki Young. "Their music has withstood the test of time.... That's why there are musicians, whether they are rock musicians or classical musicians who like to play (Beatles music) so much."
Young said the orchestra and the band want to be true to the original recordings -- many of which included full orchestras backing up the Fab Four.
"We're not making it more classical than it was," Young said. "It'll be forceful music done honestly."