The annual Halloween Orchestra Concert is back, more vibrant than ever, with more than a few surprises. At 7:30 this Thursday, the Graceland University Orchestra will be performing much beloved movie pieces in the Shaw Auditorium.
Examples of the student-selected pieces in this year’s set list include pieces from Jurassic Park, Phantom of the Opera, Up, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Audience attendees are often enthused when they listen to familiar music, but they’re not the only ones excited.
Christa Hill, junior French hornist, claims that the Orchestra is excited as well. “Personally… I get bored with the stuff we play even though I know it’s important [music]… but this stuff, you know it and it’s exciting…”
However, it’s not all fun and games. Conductor Jack Ergo stated these are some of the most challenging pieces. “We don’t do junky schlock. We do the best of the literature… We actually have the John Williams [score], and I tell ya, it’s as difficult as a Beethoven symphony.”
One of the most attractive highlights for the event is the fact that members of the orchestra will be wearing costumes. This year, Hill will be a pirate. “It’s really fun! All the other concerts… we have to wear black and it’s like I’m going to a funeral. But for this [concert] you can wear whatever the heck you want!”
Unsurprisingly, Ergo agrees with this eleven-year-old concert’s tradition. “I tell certain members… if they have a specific solo… they might want to do something with their costume. Like the players who have a lot of solos in Phantom of the Opera, they’ll probably come as a character in that. But it’s all fun and highly optional.”
Even though the Halloween concert has been around for so long, there are no signs of it becoming uninteresting. Often what makes these concerts so special are the surprises Ergo has up his sleeves. “Even the orchestra has surprises they don’t know about. I like living on the edge. I’m not one of those people that believes we’re gonna rehearse it exactly the way we’re gonna do it.”
Living on the edge doesn’t sit well with some of the members of the Orchestra. Even Hill is a little nervous. “You just don’t know what Jack is going to do.”
Regardless of what happens, this year’s concert is bound to be a memorable one with a wonderful selection of music, fun costumes, and more surprises then one may expect.
The concert is at 7:30 on Thursday in the Shaw Auditorium, and is free for everyone.