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MSO samples the movie scores of composer John Williams

The orchestra will perform music from 'Star Wars,' 'Superman' and 'Jaws'

The orchestra will perform music from 'Star Wars,' 'Superman' and 'Jaws'

September 20, 2007|By KATE COLEMAN

The special effects will be musical when the Maryland Symphony Orchestra brings its 26th season to The Maryland Theatre on Saturday night.

The pops concert, Movie Music Magic: A Salute to the Music of John Williams, will honor the composer and his great contribution "not only to film music, but to music in general," said MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze.

Williams is a wonderful composer who also writes music for the concert hall proper, Schulze said. He has found a way to make a coherent language that can go from the screen to the concert stage. The MSO will not be playing soundtracks but rather arrangements of the familiar themes and scenes that people remember, she explained.

"What's so great about it is it evokes so many great stories whenever we play it." she said. "It's instantly recognizable and instantly enjoyable, standing on its own and also in relation to the story we have seen it tell on the screen."


Williams' creations have told many stories. He's composed the music and/or served as music director for more than 100 films. Seven will be represented in the MSO program.

Appropriately, his "Superman March" from 1978's "Superman" is on Saturday's bill. Williams' range, after all, is heroic.

The MSO audience will have a chance to re-experience the terror of"Jaws," the other-worldly sweetness of "E.T.," the wizardry of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and the outer-space and earthly adventures of "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Among Williams' five Academy Awards is the statuette for best original score for "Schindler's List," the drama based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

Thirteen-year-old violinist Madison Vest of the Charlottesville, Va., area will join the orchestra for one of the works from the film. A former MSO guest artist, Madison performed with the orchestra in the May 2006 Citi Youth Concert.

"She's extraordinarily gifted," Schulze said. "I'm really very happy to find another opportunity so soon to be able to present her to the community."

That community - the members of Saturday night's audience - will not hear either of the two symphonies or the several concertos Williams has written. The MSO won't be performing any of the four themes he composed for the Olympics.

What they will hear is a program of music by a man who, with 45 Academy Award nominations, is the Academy's most nominated living person.

When the MSO plays Williams' music, the symphony goers will be able to see - even with their eyes closed - the heroes and villains that filled the screen.

That's movie music magic.

If you go ...

WHAT: The MSO's Movie Music Magic: A Salute to the Music of John Williams

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

COST: Tickets cost $21 to $79 for adults, $11 to $40 for children 12 and younger and for full-time students, and are available by calling 301-797-4000 and at the MSO box office, 30 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown. Box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets will be available at The Maryland Theatre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where else have you heard the composer's work?

John Williams has composed the music and served as a music director for more than 100 films, including:

"War of the Worlds"

"The Terminal"

"Catch Me If You Can"

"Minority Report"

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"

"The Patriot"

"Angela's Ashes"


"Saving Private Ryan"


"Seven Years in Tibet"



"Schindler's List"

"Jurassic Park"

"Home Alone"



"Born on the Fourth of July"

"Raiders of the Lost Ark"

"The Accidental Tourist"

"Empire of the Sun"

"The Witches of Eastwick"

"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"


"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

"Star Wars"


Bold indicates movies from which music will be a part of the MSO program.

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