25 November 2019

University of Sheffield alumni 'come together' to perform Beatles classics

The Sheffield Beatles Project, made up of Alumni from the Department of Music, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of popular Beatles albums with a headline gig at the Sheffield O2 Academy.

stage performance
Calvin Merry

  • Some of The Beatles' biggest hits are set to be performed in public once again as part of a unique concert celebrating two of the band’s most loved albums.
  • Beatles classics will be performed by some of Sheffield’s finest and most acclaimed musicians – many of whom are graduates from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music. 
  • From songs such as Something, Oh! Darling and Octopus’s Garden, to Get Back and Come Together, the concert is set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of the albums Abbey Road and Let It Be.

The Sheffield Beatles Project was founded in 2016 by a group of Department of Music Alumni and Sheffield based musicians. Realising that that year was the 50th anniversary of the release of ‘Revolver’, they decided to perform the album in full. This was premiered at the Sheffield famous Tramlines festival under the title “The Sheffield Revolver Project”.

This first performance proved a success so the group reconvened in 2017 to perform ‘Sgt. Pepper’ at the independent local festival, The Folk Forest. With great popularity and local support from marketing and promotion, the project landed a headline show at the O2 Academy Sheffield to perform ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. The album was performed in full with a 30 piece orchestra which included Alumni musicians of The University of Sheffield.

stage performance
Calvin Merry

Ben Eckersley, Musical Director of The Sheffield Beatles Project said: “When starting the project, it was really important to us to bring together some of this city’s best musical talent, so we could celebrate not just the brilliant music of The Beatles but also the best of our local scene. The line-up has changed once or twice but we’re very happy with where we’ve wound up – a nearly 30 piece group that represent literally dozens of current and former Sheffield acts".

"I’m a twice graduate from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music - first with a music degree in 2004 and then with a Master’s in composition in 2009. As a student there I learnt a lot, both directly from lectures and also indirectly from the experience of being a musician at the university. To prepare for each Beatles Project gig I have a huge amount of work to do on the orchestral arrangements, all of which would not be possible without the knowledge base of orchestration, harmony, writing for individual instruments and good aural skills that I gained at the University of Sheffield". 

Orchestra conducting
Calvin Merry

Sheffield has a rich tradition of music and the University’s Department of Music is definitely a huge contributor to that. To bring so many alumni together in The Sheffield Beatles Project is a real joy. A great opportunity to bring together a wealth of talent with those of us making varied careers in the music industry.

Duncan Vaughan

BMus Graduate, 2005

Glowing recent reviews have commended the musicians involved in the project with Exposed Magazine stating Ben Eckersley ‘arranged and conducted the 30+ band of
musicians so expertly that this performance was given a life way beyond the recorded version. It was a truly stunning arrangement, and was a tribute to the dedication of the many fine Sheffield musicians involved’.

Following further success performing ‘The White Album’ in 2018, the alumni music community are delighted to be returning to the O2 Academy for a premier performance of ‘Abbey Road’ and ‘Let it be’ back to back. With each performance gaining more support, the next December gig will be to an audience in excess of 1,000 people.

The audience can expect a scene-stealing fusion of strings, brass, singers and more, plus plenty of opportunity to sing well -loved classic hits.

The Sheffield Beatles Project Presents Abbey Road is being held at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Saturday 14 December 2019.

Reserve tickets

Gig details 

Studying music at the University of Sheffield


The Department of Music offers courses on a wide range of disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our BMus is one of the most flexible and diverse music degrees in the UK. Our curriculum and expertise span seven different areas: performance, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, music psychology, musical industries, and music technology. We offer academic and practical study in most music genres, including classical, pop, jazz, folk and world music.

At postgraduate level, studying music as a postgraduate in Sheffield means becoming part of a large international community focused on the advancement of music and the understanding of it in its various forms and manifestations. We offer 6 onsite and 2 distance- learning MA programmes specialising in composition, performance, psychology, musicology and music management.

Find out more about the courses available on the Department of Music website.  

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