Phoenix Symphony: Box Office Blockbusters

13 May 2015 by Lexi Gass, No Comments »

On May 2nd, I went to go see the Phoenix Symphony perform a concert titled “Box Office Blockbusters.” Now, when you think of a symphony, normally you think of classical music with stuffy people being completely silent and it is really boring. Not this symphony. First off, all the music was modern-ish and recognizable, like scores from famous movies such as Wizard of Oz, Forrest Gump, Sound of Music, and much more. The music was mostly fun, lively, and it always played to the right emotions. The conductor took the time to explain the next few sets before conducting the music, giving the audience context of what they were listening to. It was a great selection of music, and it made for a fun night.

Here is a picture of Orpheum Theater. Image from

They opened up the show with the Fox Fanfare, which is just the opening to any Fox movie or show. The conductor then opened up the show talking about the importance of music, which was to become the theme for the show. They then went into two sets with music from West Side Story and the Godfather. The two sets were completely different from each other, but still completely beautiful. They played a song from the Schindler’s List and a tango song, which were also very different from each other. Both of these songs highlighted a man playing the violin, Steven Moeckel, who was absolutely incredible and passionate. He played with such emotion, and I know why they chose him to be the only solo in the show. They ended the first half with the main title of The Magnificent Seven, which was a perfect note to end it on. (see what I did there? No? Alright then…)

In the second half, they opened up with Flight to Neverland from the movie Hook. They really captured the spirit of flying, and if you closed your eyes, you could see Neverland forming right in front of you. They then went into a triple set of Sound of Music, Titanic, and Wizard of Oz songs. I have seen all of these movies, so you could imagine exactly what scene they were playing from and feel the emotions they inflected in the movie. And, for the finale, they played what is considered by many to be one of the most famous movie soundtracks of all time, a Star Wars medley. They sounded exactly like the movie, and it was really cool to see it be played live. The show was supposed to end then, but for a surprise, they played one more song that the audience could interact with. They finished the show by playing Happy by Pharell Williams. They had the whole audience clapping along in no time, and it was amazing to feel kind of like you were a part of the orchestra too.

The conductor of the show was amazing, and you could tell he really loved what he was doing. First off, his hair was perfect for the job he was doing. He had it slick and combed back in the front, but shaved in the back, making it perfect for flopping on his head while he conducted. He was really into the music and was dancing around the whole time, which went to show how much he loved hearing music. He was funny while he explained what the next set was from and what it meant to him and why it was in the show, making it really fun to listen to. He was the perfect person to be conducting the type of music he was.

The whole show was incredible, and it really changed my perspective on orchestras and symphonies. The music was amazing, it was played beautifully, and I really wish that’s what it sounds like when I go to watch my sister’s 5th grade band concert. I really enjoyed the whole thing, and I would want to go see another symphony like that again.







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