HOUGHTON - Fans of rock music and fans of classical music can unite for at least one weekend, as the Grammy-nominated Hampton [Rock] String Quartet rolls into town for a two-day residency Friday.
The quartet, which plays classically influenced arrangements of songs by Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and more, will join forces with the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra and high school string players from Houghton, Negaunee, Marquette and Escanaba for the second Keweenaw Honors String Festival.
The weekend will begin with the quartet hosting a master class for the student musicians from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. HSQ will then have a free lecture and question and answer session from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday and finish the weekend with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited to all three events.
"We've been doing this for almost 30 years now," said John Reed. "We're a Grammy-nominated group, and people can expect to hear a lot of classic rock from the '70s, '80s and '90s."
The sound of the Hampton [Rock] String Quartet appeals to all ages and music preferences, according to Reed.
"I've seen 13-year-olds knowing the words to 'Evil Ways' by Santana ... so they love it for that reason," Reed said. "Then you'll have older people who are expecting classical music, but they like the twist and that we're doing something different."
The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra will open Saturday night's concert with a performance of a pair of the movements of Gustav Holst's "The Planets," as well as a world premiere by composer Elizabeth Meyer. HSQ will then take the stage and perform a variety of rock classics from Jimi Hendrix to Nirvana.
"We're doing one at the concert that's my new favorite, 'Nothing Else Matters' by Metallica," Reed said. "It's a beautiful ballad."
Tickets for the final concert are $22.75, $21.75 for seniors and $20.75 for students. To purchase tickets, call 487-2073, go online at rozsa.mtu.edu or visit Ticketing Operations at Michigan Tech's Student Development Complex on 600 MacInnes Drive in Houghton. SDC box office hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Note the Rozsa Box Office is closed during regular business hours, and will only open two hours prior to showtimes.