The Bienen School of Music Student Advisory Board and the Undergraduate Leadership Program are hosting a Movie Music Concert Thursday, April 21 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Student musicians will perform scores from the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, all while promoting what organizer and Student Advisory Board outreach chair Caitlyn Walsh says is “a message of philanthropy and community engagement.”
The concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will consist of performances by both Bienen student music groups, like the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and non-music major groups, like Philharmonia. Conducted by Masters students Roderick Cox, Deanna Tham and Frank Watkins, the show will also feature a full choir, dancer Rachel Molinaro, solo vocalist Jillian Marini and narrator Tom Tropp. Walsh, a Bienen senior, said the film scores were selected based on their quality and if the performers would be able to learn them well in only a few rehearsals. She said she is most excited for the Peter Pan suite, which is the one piece that has dance, narration and a choral performance, all set to the score from the 2003 film.
“It’s the one piece we all get to collaborate on,” she said. “It’s where we get to combine the artistic talent of all the different student departments on campus.”
Many of the participants, like French horn player Kevin Haseltine, are also eager to play more popular songs that the audience is familiar with.
“I’ve been really wanting to play, especially since it has some epic horn parts, like in the ‘Jurassic Park’ part,” said Haseltine, a Bienen freshman.
The Student Advisory Board and Undergraduate Leadership Program have sponsored Movie Music Concerts in the past, though last year they decided to take on a musical version of Dance Marathon called Music Marathon instead. The concert is back and is the result of an eight month collaboration between the two groups and the Center for Civic Engagement, with the idea of promoting community outreach.
“It will not only be visually pleasing, but pleasing to the ear,” Walsh said. “The program is great and seeing everyone performing is going to be really exciting.”
The show is free and open to the general public, but audience members will be able to donate money toward the People’s Music School, an organization that offers free music lessons to low income students in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
“It’s more about our collaboration,” Walsh said. “We didn’t want to make it about money.”
That was why they also hosted a version of the concert this past Saturday for children in the community. Reorganized to facilitate interactivity, the show allowed children on stage to see their favorite instruments in action and learn more about music, all while listening to popular scores. Saturday’s show also featured a special guest appearance by the People’s Music School’s top orchestra, featuring children only a few years older than those in the audience.
“The kids that came to our concert on Saturday morning really seemed to enjoy it as a fresh look at an orchestra,” said Anna Cooksey, a Bienen sophomore and clarinetist. “Too often we’re seen as a snobby group of people who play boring music. I think outreach concerts like this one are trying to change that. People should come because the music is fun.”