The Saenger’s alive with the sound of The Beatles

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by Wade Manns – The Corsair


The Beatles has been one of music history’s most enduring and most loved bands. Many groups down through the years have attempted to recapture the essence of The Beatles in their own special way. Now, one of those groups is coming to Pensacola with a rather unique method of bringing forth the sound of the “Fab Four”: by leveraging the classical style of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, the Classical Mystery Tour hopes to bring forth classical music culture as well as some of the best music rock has ever known.

The Pensacola Saenger Theatre hosts the Classical Mystery Tour, the nationally recognized Beatles cover band, backed up by the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. Comprised of Jim Owen, playing John Lennon on rhythm guitar, piano and vocals; Tony Kishman playing Paul McCartney on bass guitar, piano and vocals; Tom Teeley as George Harrison on lead guitar and vocals; and Chris Camilleri as Ringo Starr on drums and vocals, the band delivers an authentic sound to that of The Beatles, which true fans and purists will definitely enjoy.

Conducting the Symphony Orchestra is Maestro Peter Rubardt, now in his 13th season as Music Director. He understands the true quality of these popular songs by the four youngsters from Liverpool: “The execution, honed in a studio, is scrupulously polished; the musical details burst with originality and creativity; and most of all, the richness of expression is undimmed with the passage of time. These are true classics, in the best sense of the word.”

Owen (Lennon) was the one who had the idea for starting the Classical Mystery Tour. He started in music very young, first hearing The Beatles when he was eight and immediately deciding to take up guitar lessons. He started performing as a Beatle when he was 16, then two years later started with several international productions of Beatlemania, a musical whose original run was from 1977 to 1979.

Kishman (McCartney) got started a bit later in life with music, at age 19. He was influenced by several rock and live acts, such as Wishbone Ash, Bad Company, and Peter Frampton. Like Owen, he too starred in the Beatlemania musical. He produced several acts that ran in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, and worked again with Wishbone Ash for the recording of their 18th album.

Teeley (Harrison) has also performed in the musical Beatlemania, as well as the film version. He is also a noted rock artist impersonator, as well as a songwriter for Alice Cooper and a singer-guitarist for Joe Jackson, Sophie B. Hawkins and many others. He focuses on an attention to detail in his work.

Camilleri (Starr) also started young in music; his father taught him the drums from a very early age. As he grew, he became friends, and played for many famous artists including Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, Badfinger, Mickey Dolenz, Joe Walsh and many other bands from the era of the Beatles. He’s also an accomplished voice-over artist.

If you’re a Beatles fan, a classical music fan or both, check out more information about the Classical Mystery Tour, and their future destinations, at