- If you ve wanted a way to introduce the family to a symphony concert experience, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra has just the opportunity.
Next up in the HSO s Pops series is Pixar in Concert, which features digitally-projected montages of 13 films, including Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, A Bug s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars 1 and 2, Ratatouille, WALL*E, and Brave. The concert will take place at the Von Braun Center Mark C. Smith Concert Hall on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
Dan Halcomb, the HSO s president and CEO, said he looked into booking the program after he heard about its debut last year.
Many years ago, I saw Disney s Fantasia accompanied by an orchestra, and I thought it was a charming way to experience that film, especially since it was much more about animation and music than a story. Disney still makes that show available to orchestras, but when I learned last year that Disney had just debuted a show featuring 13 Pixar films and their wonderful music, I realized it had far more appeal to me and far greater relevance to an audience that knows and loves these much newer films.
Joseph Lee, the HSO s resident conductor, will lead the orchestra in the concert, which includes not only challenging music but some challenging technical requirements for the local production staff.
Lee and several music section leaders will wear headsets during the concert through which they can hear what Halcomb called a click track, giving them cues to coordinate the music with the images projected out of their sight above them. Running the digital projection as well as the click track is a Disney technician, Sam Kriemelmeyer, brought to Huntsville specifically for this purpose.
The HSO has never presented a show like this, so there will be hours of rehearsal with the technician and musicians prior to the concert, Halcomb said.
For the Pixar in Concert program, Disney has created film montages that tell the entire arc of each movie in about five to seven minutes. The montages will be played on a screen above the concert hall stage where the musicians will perform.
It s exciting in a way that watching these films at home can t be bigger, but at the same time more personal, because everyone in the audience will not only hear the music in a new way, but feel it as well, Halcomb said. It s a rare opportunity to introduce children to the joys of live musical performance or for the symphony veteran to experience these wonderful stories in a unique way.
Academy Award-winner and multiple nominee Randy Newman has composed the scores for seven of the films being presented, and much of the music includes the grand passages that people associate with classical music, performed with all the violins, cellos, flutes, trumpets and other lovely instruments usually used by orchestras, Halcomb said. However, he also included sounds which can only be made by saxophones, electric guitars and a synthesizer, so we ll have them all.
Halcomb said the HSO will present the show 30 minutes earlier than usual so families can get their children home for bedtime.
Act One of the show will last for 50 minutes, there will be a 20 minute intermission, then Act Two will last for 35 minutes, so the evening should be over by 8:45 p.m., he said.
Tickets for the show are to . Students and children receive half-price admission. For more information and to order tickets, visit .
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