OSU-Corvallis Symphony revives ‘Potter’ through a musical tribute
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 01:10
Albus Dumbledore, in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” calls music “a magic far beyond all we do here.” The “Halloween with Harry” concert allowed fans to relive that magic through a rendition of whimsical score that accompanied the films
On Sunday, Oct. 28, the Corvallis-Oregon State University Symphony performed at the LaSells Stewart Center. They performed music from the composer John Williams, who wrote the music for the Harry Potter movies. The symphony was conducted by Rob Birdwell, a guest conductor.
Although the concert didn’t start until 3 p.m., the doors opened at 1 p.m. for people to experience a creative interpretation of Diagon Alley, put together by Michelle Maller. Not only was Diagon Alley and the musical performance part of the experience, but letters from Potter fans were read and actors read excerpts from the series on stage.
Many people contributed to making this event a success, including Birdwell, Dr. Marlan Carlson, Erin Sneller, Marion Rossi, Tina Green-Prince and Michelle Maller. Birdwell enjoys being surrounded by many creative and talented people.
“The Corvallis-OSU Symphony is an amazingly talented group of musicians who perform at the very highest level,” Birdwell said.
Birdwell is a fan of John Williams and was excited for the opportunity to conduct this performance.
Beth Ray was part of the planning committee.
“This event is a great [opportunity] to see people, especially the children adoring the lobby display, dressing up and enjoying the symphony,” Ray said.
The idea of “Halloween with Harry” came to because, like many orchestras, they wanted to connect with their audiences, especially newer audiences who may not normally attend events like these.
“Marlan Carlson, the music director, and [the OSU] Symphony Board recognized that such a concert would not only be a lot of fun, but would also connect with a very wide audience,” Birdwell said.
Michelle Maller was responsible for putting together Diagon Alley.
“I love being a part of hosting an event that is so unique and interesting, especially when there are so few family events in Corvallis,” Maller said.
Maller said she enjoys the looks on kids’ faces when they enter and see how the building has been transformed into the wonderful world of J.K. Rowling.
Since Maller is a Harry Potter fan herself, she loved being a part of making this event a success.
“I really love being able to spread my Harry Potter nerdiness to others,” Maller said. “It’s been pretty fun to try to stick as closely as possible to the integrity of the books and films.”
They realized they wanted to do an event before the concert, but still want it related to the musical performance.
“We were not expecting the turnout we had last year,” Maller said. “[It] sold out and that made it a very easy decision to repeat the event this year. Guests were blown away by the event.”
Because of the success they had last year, they decided to expand it past just Diagon Alley, and also had a Hogsmeade in hopes of accommodating the crowds better this year.
Hannah Johnson, news reporter