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Journey Across the Universe

It was Christmas of 2006 when composer and friend Harry Aguado gave to me a large book called Beatles: The Complete Scores. It was every single song they ever recorded, meticulously hand-written by a team of musicians with the most keenly sensitive ears. Every single note was there, from the guitar riffs, to drum patterns, to the vocals, exactly as they were performed by The Beatles in the studio recordings. I immediately cherished it. I also knew right away that this would some day become fodder for a men's chorus project.

The following summer, I left Los Angeles for Atlanta to become the first full-time artistic director of the city's gay men's chorus. And three years later, there was indeed a Beatles concert on the season. It was a joy to work with a team of creative artists to select the program (and  to secretly choose our favorite songs) for the 100-voice ensemble to sing. In 2010, All You Need Is Love: The Music of the Beatles made its way to the stage.

It was extremely rewarding to have this resource I'd been given as a jumping off point for the arrangements. It was urtext. But this was the Beatles and it was a gay men's chorus, so some liberty had to be taken at times to take advantage of four independent sections of voices.  At the same time, it was clear that some Beatles songs were already sophisticated compositions for which I need not change a note. Songs like Eleanor Rigby, Because, Norwegian Wood and Penny Lane were chief among those. Seven years later, a second tribute with as many new arrangements made its way to the stage in a back-by-popular-demand program. Together, these two performances became the foundation for this new TTBB collection.

The study and shaping of this great music is some of the most rewarding work I've done. If you are considering performing the arrangements, please download this guide. You'll find it helpful in choosing numbers, understanding how they have been arranged, and what to expect if you're going to use a band. 

Enjoy the music of The Beatles TTBB Collection.

Kevin Robison

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