‘Come Together’ with Beatles music to benefit Senior Services

Beatles music appeals to fans of all ages. Soon, an event pairing Fab Four favorites with a pop orchestra will help people of a certain age.

“Come Together,” a Beatles tribute dinner show, will benefit Senior Services of Snohomish County. The nonprofit organization serves more than 35,000 people each year with programs that include Meals on Wheels, housing and transportation.

The Weatherheads, a Seattle area cover band, will be backed by the Sound Edge Pops Orchestra at the fundraiser March 2 in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Everett’s Comcast Arena. Radio and TV personality Pat Cashman will emcee the $75-per-person event.

In more than one way, “Come Together” is a first. Janet Duncan, development director for Senior Services, said the agency, which holds an annual luncheon, has never had an evening benefit. The show will also be the debut of the 40-piece Sound Edge Pops Orchestra.

The orchestra is part of the Snohomish County Music Project, launched in 2011 as the next step of what was the Everett Symphony Orchestra.

“We’re the former Everett Symphony,” said Roger Pawley, executive director of the Snohomish County Music Project. “The board made a decision to broaden our scope. The outcome was a pops orchestra based on the Boston Pops, directed more toward contemporary music or presenting classical music in a more accessible way.”

The music project makes its home at Everett Music Hall, a former movie theater at Everett Mall, and opens its doors to area music groups.

“Come Together” will benefit both Senior Services and the Music Project, which will get $5,000 of the proceeds, Duncan said. Between songs, she said, people will be asked to “fund a need” by making donations to Senior Services. She hopes that $20,000 to $25,000 will be raised for the agency’s general fund.

“It’s supporting two great causes,” Pawley said. He explained that when financial troubles sidelined the Everett Symphony Orchestra, its musicians formed a separate group, the Everett Philharmonic Orchestra. The Snohomish County Music Project moved in a different direction.

“Classical orchestras all around the country that are trying to stand alone are going out of business,” Pawley said. The aim now is to build a larger organization that could “shelter classical music in the future,” he said.

The Beatles can only help.

“I’m really tickled by the whole thing. And I’m honored to be asked,” said John Nelson, who plays guitar and sings lead vocals for the Weatherheads. He’s looking forward to rehearsals with the Sound Edge Pops Orchestra, conducted by Kim Roy. She is also conductor of the Seattle Rock Orchestra.

“She’s done all this before,” said Nelson, whose band includes Bart Hyde, Jim Santoro, Keith Meicho and Dianna Larkin.

“Across the Universe” and “Got to Get You Into My Life” are just two of many songs on Nelson’s list for the show. Duncan is thrilled the rock band is donating its performance.

The pairing of the Music Project with Senior Services shows how arts organizations are changing with the times.

“We’ve turned our mission upside down,” Pawley said. “It’s not, ‘Support us because we’re the arts and we’re important.’ We’re saying, ‘How can we support the community with our arts?’ It’s artistic citizenship.”

Beatles music at a fundraiser for seniors? It’s been a quick trip. I was 10 on Feb. 7, 1964, when The Beatles first landed in New York — close to 50 years ago.

“It’s my generation,” Pawley said. “We’re so excited about it.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; muhlstein@heraldnet.com.

Beatles tribute dinner

Senior Services of Snohomish County and the Snohomish County Music Project will hold a fundraising event, “Come Together,” 6-9 p.m. March 2 in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett.

The Beatles tribute dinner show will feature the Sound Edge Pops Orchestra and the Weatherheads, a rock cover band. Cost $75 per person. RSVP by Feb. 17.

Register online at http://tinyurl.com/BeatlesDinnerShow or call Christina Harrison at 425-265-2294.

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