The Marion Philharmonic Orchestra took the stage on Saturday, Oct. 26 in Rediger Chapel, debuting their newest performance of “Sci-Fi Spectacular.”
This year, the Orchestra is celebrating their 50th anniversary. They kicked off their second performance of the year with notable film scores from “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Back to the Future” and more.
Matthew Kraemer, Musical Director and Conductor of the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra spoke before the show about his personal love for science fiction and the history of film scores.
“Science fiction is one of my favorite genres,” Kraemer said. “Who could argue with this amazing enterprise of Star Wars.”
In the world of film, the period between the 1890s and 1929s was known as the silent era. It wasn’t until the 1930s when music was written into the movie itself and scores were tailored by conductors to convey a specific theme.
“This opened up great possibilities for filmmakers and it began a major revolution in how movies were produced,” Kraemer said.
Thus began the Golden Age of film scores which birthed some of the most iconic themes that everyone recognizes today. Film music that transcends its time.
The concert opened with the introduction from “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” more commonly known as the “2001: A Space Odyssey” theme.
Midway through the first half, Kraemer introduced a special guest performance, senior Steven Christopherson.
“You might wonder what does that have to do with sci-fi,” Kraemer said. ”Absolutely nothing, but his performance will be out of this world.”
Christopherson, the winner of the 2018 Aria Competition, an annual student solo competition, was invited to play as a special guest in this concert. He performed the third movement of “Clarinet Concerto No 2 in E Flat Major,” by CM Von Weber.
Christopherson faced the audience proudly, played confidently and as he finished the last note he was beaming.
“I can't help but smile and be happy about it. I would have danced myself if I had the room,” Christopherson said.
The audience erupted in applause, and Christpherson received a standing ovation.
After a short break from sci fi, the lights dimmed and the music swelled once more as the familiar main title from the “New Hope,” from Star Wars Saga filled the room.
The intergalactic night came to a close with 30 minutes of John William’s most iconic Star Wars themes.
Sophomore Robert Swanson attended the concert to support his friend Christopherson and to fulfill his love of sci-fi film score music.
“I enjoyed the combination of melodies that are nostalgically embedded in my head with the experience of seeing the instruments and their players as they produced that music,” Swanson said.