Ballard High String Quartet perform with ‘Beatles vs. Stones’ Sept. 1

Beatles vs. Stones is coming to Kentucky Performing Arts Center on Thursday Sept. 1 and a local high school quartet will join the bands on stage. Ballard High School’s String Quartet will perform six songs with the two bands trying to prove who reigns over the British Invasion: The Rolling Stones or The Beatles

Here’s the rundown (from the release)

The two greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time face off in Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown. Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the nation’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They engage in a “showdown” of the hits with Stones tribute band Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. It has toured for years, with a critic for the Los Angeles Times at one point declaring: “this is the most unique tribute show in decades.” The Louisville show is part of a 125-city tour of the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The string quartet: Caleb Murphy, Jeveon McCauley, Niyati Vukkum and Eva Davids will join the bands for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Hey Jude,” “Gimme Shelter,” and “Ruby Tuesday.”

The Ballard Quartet has performed for school and community events and belongs to other area ensembles such as the West Louisville Education and Talent Center. The members also receive Distinguished ratings at the Kentucky Music Education Association Solo and Ensembles festivals. 

Producers of the Beatles vs Stones show approached the Ballard High School orchestra director Chrissy Givan seeking talented high school students who could withstand the pressure and hold their own on a stage with professionals. The show company will donate to the school’s music program in exchange for the quartet’s participation. 

“Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown” happens at The Kentucky Center-Bomhard Theater on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35-$65 and may be purchased online at, by phone at (502) 584-7777, and at The Kentucky Center box office at 501 W. Main St. in Louisville. The show is family friendly and appropriate for all ages. 

Two of the quartet, Caleb and Eva, are the quartet’s Beatles fans and Niyati is a fan of the Rolling Stones.

“I love Eleanor Rigby and I’m so happy that we get to play the song in the Beatles vs. Stones show,” said Eva. Caleb agrees. 

“I like the Rolling Stones,” said Niyati. “I feel their presence more than the Beatles.”

Ballard High School String Quartet Bios: (from the release)

Caleb Murphy
, 17, has been playing the violin for nine years. He is a member of the Ballard High Orchestra and has performed in KMEA competitions every year since middle school.

“I love how the violin goes where human speech can’t,” said Caleb.

The senior plans to enroll in a four year university next year and hopefully play with a community orchestra.

Jeveon McCauley, 17, has been playing the violin for 11 years. He performs with the BHS Orchestra and the West Louisville Education and Talent Center.

“I love the variation you have with violin,” said Jeveon. “You can play Mozart, heavy metal or rock. I play all kinds of genres with the violin and it sounds amazing. I love the instrument.”

Along with his 11 brothers and sisters, each of whom play a string instrument, they are street performers at sporting events and malls around Louisville.

“People hear us perform in malls during the holidays and hire us to play weddings and other events,” said Jeveon.

The senior plans to attend college and pursue a career in business.

Niyati Vukkum, 17, has been playing the viola for nine years. She also plays the piano, guitar and sings. She used to play the steel drum and marimba. She is a member of her high school’s orchestra and has competed in several KMEA festivals.

“I like the viola because it’s the unsung hero of orchestra,” said Niyati. “The viola adds so much unknown flavor to music.”

Niyati gives private piano lessons to children and sings in choir, church and temple. She plays Volleyball at Ballard High.

The senior plans to enroll in college and study Architecture or Engineering.

“Also, I want to stay in music for as long as I can.”

Eva Davids, 17, has been playing the cello for seven years. She has competed in KMEA festivals and plays with her school orchestra.

“The cello’s range is not too high and not too low,” said Eva. “It’s a nice middle ground.”

“In orchestra, I like hearing the pieces come together and feeling the story the composer is trying to tell. You can tell so much work and passion goes into the pieces.”

The senior plans to attend college next year and study Accounting or Statistics. She is hoping to enroll in the University of Louisville.

Who is better? The Beatles or the Stones? Watch the video about the history of this debate.

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