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Peoria Symphony to celebrate movies in concert

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With the Oscar nominations out and American filmdom gearing up for its biggest party of the year, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra will celebrate movies at its next concert, Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Peoria Civic Center.

"Matinee at the Movies" will feature some of the best known songs from a variety of films, including "Titanic," "Gone With the Wind," "The Sound of Music," "Casablanca," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Harry Potter."

Super hero fans will enjoy music from "Superman," Spiderman," and "Batman" while those into sci-fi movies will get a dose of "Star Trek," "Star Wars" and others.

The concert will be emceed by local radio celebrities Greg Batton and Dan Diorio from WMBD Radio. A pre-concert reception begins at 2 p.m. and will featured Batman, Spiderman and other costumed characters. Those attending are invited to wear their own costumes and participate in a costume contest that is part of the festivities.

In celebration of the family-oriented concert, the Symphony is offering a special Family Four-Pack, which includes two adult tickets and two children's tickets for $50. These must be reserved by calling the Peoria Symphony box office at 671-1096 or visiting at 101 State St.

Regular ticket prices are $26 to $51 for adults and $11 for students.

While movie scores may not be what some expect at a symphony concert, most of the music in a movie is scored for and played by an orchestra. Also, the Academy Awards presents an Oscar each year to a composer of musical scores as well as original song.

"All of these composers are very sophisticated in their ability to capture the emotional content of the visual scene in sound and music. That's their art form," said Maestro George Stelluto, music director for the Peoria Symphony Orchestra.

Among the composers of the music to be played Sunday is John Williams ("Star Wars," "Superman," "Harry Potter"), one of the most prolific film music composers of all time. A multiple winner of the Academy Award for original score, Williams is nominated yet again this year for "The Book Thief."

Other composers include James Horner ("Titanic"), Neal Hefti ("Batman), Max Steiner ("Casablanca," "Gone With the Wind") and Hans Zimmer ("Pirates of the Caribbean).

Stelluto noted the importance of music to a film, what it adds to the experience. "It would be an interesting experiment if somebody were to just watch a movie without the musical sound track, to see how much they were missing," he said.

The next Peoria Symphony concert will be Valentine's Day, Friday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Civic Center Theatre. Titled "Romance," it will feature vocalists Ryan Lanning, a tenor, and soprano Linden Christ. Tickets for that concert are on sale.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).

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