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John Williams Blockbuster Concert Review

Wait for it, wait for it…


Kevin Prahe

The lobby of the Koger Center looked like a Star Wars convention before Tuesday evening’s John Williams Blockbusters concert and again during intermission. Prize winners for best costumes were announced from the stage prior to the second half of the concert and, if dressing up weren’t reward enough, then getting called out as a winner certainly was.

For many who showed up in costume to pay tribute to a cinematic phenomenon, the concert of film scores was a first classical music experience. As the program warned, Star Wars figures would have to wait for it, wait for it as the USC Symphony’s five movement performance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was last on the program.


Sharon and Sasha Galvan

Earlier in the evening, the audience also heard music from the Jaws Suite, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Adventures of Indiana Jones, “Escapades” for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra from Catch Me if You Can, as well as “Hymn to the Fallen,” from Saving Private Ryan, and Memoirs of a Geisha: The Chairman’s Waltz.

This year’s encore performance of John Williams compositions was scheduled by popular demand following last season’s stellar night of beloved movie scores.midlands-anchor-star-wars-christian-hardwick

Guest conductors studying with Dr. Portnoy led the student orchestra through all but one of the offerings within the energetic program. Dr. Portnoy, in his farewell season at the USC podium, conducted the three movements from Catch Me If You Can.

The next USC Symphony concert is scheduled for Tuesday, November 15. Violinist Sandy Cameron will be featured; the composers will be Hanson and Shostakovich.


Contributed by Palmetto Artifacts

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