KW Symphony brings blockbuster movies to life

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A musical score is one of the most important aspects of a film. It adds to the overall feel of the story, and if the soundtrack is strong enough, it can transform a good movie into a cinematic masterpiece.

It’s no wonder that live performances of movie soundtracks are growing in popularity around Canada and the United States.

Orchestras performing the scores of Jaws, Star Wars, Jurassic Park and other blockbuster soundtracks often yield high ticket sales from enthusiastic fans ready to re-experience  music from their childhoods.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra is the latest group to adopt this growing trend.

For two shows only, on Mar. 22 and 23, the orchestra tackled the masterpiece soundtrack of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, led by musical director and conductor, Andrei Feher.

The live orchestra and film combination is far different than a typical night at the movies or concert hall.

“I think it’s so powerful to see an entire group of people playing because you can see the bows, the strings, all playing music that everybody knows,” Feher said.

“You can see the percussion, the brass players, and you can feel that, so I think it makes a huge difference just being there.”

As the show date drew closer, Mr. Feher’s schedule became more and more hectic — rehearsals, meetings, dinners with generous donors and the planning of future events filled up his days leading to the major performance. But all the effort was worth it when the audience experienced the final product.

If you’re longing for a throwback experience, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra is planning to perform the Back to the Future soundtrack as their next foray into the world of nostalgia.

“There’s so many childhood memories that go with this kind of experience,” Feher said.

“Remembering sitting with your parents, or your siblings, or any kind of family, and the music is so powerful that it stays in your mind. You feel very connected to it.”

The event featured the orchestra performing the award-winning John Williams score alongside the movie being projected on-screen.

With the energy of a live performance combined with the classic blockbuster from 1982, the concert was both a visual and auditory feast.

“Probably the most impressive part in the film is when everybody is trying to catch those kids and then there’s one moment that there’s no other option, and E.T. makes everybody fly,” Feher said.

“It’s a very difficult part for the orchestra and for me as well because the timing has to be so perfect. Everybody must be at the right place, at the right moment, doing the right things. So that’s probably one of the best moments [of the concert]”.

With the growing popularity of nostalgic media, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s performance no doubt scratches the itch of those looking to relive this beloved cinematic gem in a new way.

“It’s almost spiritual because it’s an entire group of people living the same experience,” Feher said.

“I feel more and more that today we need to find moments of doing nothing. You know, just sit there for two hours and enjoy what’s there. No phones, no texting, no nothing. Just to enjoy something and have a nice moment with everybody in the audience.”

If you’re longing for a throwback experience, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra is planning to perform the Back to the Future soundtrack as their next foray into the world of nostalgia.

Keep those eyes and ears open if you’re keen on experiencing the magic of beloved film scores from the past.

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