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Teen musician to shine at Beatles at the Ridge Festival

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas -- The Beatles (initially known as The Quarrymen) began their career playing festivals: the Rosebery Street Festival to celebrate Liverpool's 750 years and the Woolton Garden Fete where John and Paul first met. Festivals were a good way for young musicians to introduce themselves to the music scene. In September 2016, Beatles at the Ridge is proud to follow in those historical footsteps.

Each year the Walnut Ridge, Arkansas festival hosts many experienced bands such as the Sonny Burgess Band and Louise Harrison's own "Liverpool Legends," but they also search for new talent. A youth Talent Contest urges young musicians and composers to take the stage and exhibit their talent. And last year, in 2015, a gifted young man named Cameron Hicks swept the judges away and brought the crowds to their feet.

This year, Hicks is returning to Beatles at the Ridge as a Guest Presenter for the Beatles Artists and Authors Symposium, an integral part of Beatles at the Ridge.

Cameron will be performing three times during the weekend, He'll open the weekend on Friday night, Sept. 16, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for the "Meet and Greet" reception. Then on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 17, Cameron will lead a "Beatles' Sing-Along" from 3:15-4:00 p.m., urging fans to bring their own instruments and voices to join in the fun. Finally, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Cameron will take part in author Lanea Stagg's British "Day in the Life" Tea, where he'll offer unique songs from The Beatles' earliest days in the Casbah and Cavern Clubs.

"We're so proud of this unique 14-year-old musician," says Jude Southerland Kessler, Beatles author and Chair of the Symposium. "He will be an important part of the weekend's activities."

"This year," Beatles at the Ridge Festival Director, Charles Snapp, added, "We're going to ask Cameron to 'pass the baton' and hand the Talent Contest Prize on Saturday night to the new winner. He'll perform onstage that evening and then introduce his successor, inviting the new winner to perform. We're going to make this a tradition for years to come. And we're really proud to have Cameron initiate this ritual for us. He's a fine young man."

Cameron Hicks is, indeed, remarkable. He is not only an outstanding musician and composer, but, like young John Lennon before him, has been recognized as an artist as well. In 2015, he won the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans Art Contest and in his hometown of West Memphis, Arkansas, his artwork has been exhibited in local art shows. Cameron is also the two-time winner of a regional art contest.

Hicks is, furthermore, making a name for himself in the Memphis area music scene. He has performed regularly in restaurants such as Big John's Shake Shake and Funkee's Cafe. He has also been featured at intermission for the popular Memphis band, Vintage.

In April of 2016, Cameron was invited to perform at the Grammy Museum Mississippi's "Beatles 2016 Symposium: From Cavern to Candlestick." Having met and become friends with Beatles reporter and friend, Ivor Davis, Beatles Fan Club Secretary Freda Kelly and some of the most outstanding Beatles experts in the world, Hicks is well-versed in Beatles history and music. So when asked about his favorite Beatles-related moment to date, he found it hard to choose.

Cameron said, "Playing at the Grammy Museum was really cool, but so was playing in front of 5,000 people at Beatles at the Ridge last September. I mean, how many 14-year-olds get to do that?"

For more information on Beatles at the Ridge, email Charles Snapp or go to For more information on Cameron Hicks, check out his Facebook page.

Related articles:

• Beatles symposium speakers to raise money for local fire department (9/15/16)
• Noted author to host British tea time at Beatles festival (8/30/16)
• Two Louisiana artists come together at Beatles at the Ridge (8/1/16)
• Unique art collections to highlight Beatles at the Ridge Festival (7/25/16)
• Good Ol' Freda documentary to be screened at Beatles festival (7/18/16)

Published August 22, 2016

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