All summer long, Chautauquans have filled the Amphitheater to watch the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Now, a different kind of orchestra will be taking the stage, as The Orchestra, featuring members of Electric Light Orchestra and ELO Part II perform at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amp.
ELO first hit the scene in the 1970s, as a hybrid rock/orchestral group with hits like “Strange Magic,” “Can’t Get it Out of My Head,” “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Evil Woman.” According to The Orchestra’s website, ELO “picked up where the Beatles had left off on songs like ‘I Am The Walrus.’ ”
In a July interview with Halifax’s The Chronicle Herald, The Orchestra singer and guitarist Parthenon Huxley elaborated on that sentiment.
“John Lennon actually called ELO ‘Son of Beatles,’ and I always looked at it as a jumping-off point from ‘I Am The Walrus’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ that groovy, psychedelic orchestrated Beatles sound,” he said.
The bands have gone through several incarnations over the years, with founding member Jeff Lynne departing, remaining members going on to form ELO Part II and now, after the retirement of original ELO and ELO Part II drummer Bev Bevan, The Orchestra.
And, said The Orchestra keyboardist Eric Troyer, they’re still going strong.
“We love the music, we love the connections with the fans, and they love us to come out and play,” said Troyer, who originally played with ELO II and is a vocalist for The Orchestra. “As long as they want us to play these great songs, the soundtrack to so many lives, we will continue to tour.”
Troyer said The Orchestra will be playing a wide repertoire, including the “classic tunes” from ELO.
The Orchestra plays all around the world, Troyer said, and in some areas, like the United States, Eastern Europe and South America, the band has many younger fans as well as ELO stalwarts from throughout the decades.
“I guess that speaks to the timelessness of the music, and the quality that still shines through,” he said.