BEMIDJI -- Robust scores from movies got Kyle Riess interested in classical music when he was young. On Sunday, Feb. 16, the trumpet player will be on stage with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra performing some of those film favorites.
“That’s actually one of the things that got me into classical music,” said Riess, a pharmacist at Sanford Bemidji. “As a kid, listening to 'Star Wars,' half of the movie is the music that goes with it.”
The orchestra is bringing back movie music in its “Big Screen Rhythms” concert, which will include nine songs from films like "Jurassic Park," "Star Wars," Beauty and the Beast," "Lord of the Rings" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." Four of the pieces are by composer John Williams.
“The first CD I ever bought was Jurassic Park,” Riess said, “So I’m really excited about that one. John Williams is known for a lot of his brass sounds. That sound he uses with the brass just evokes so much emotion. Not that strings and woodwinds don’t do the emotion, but just those lines he uses with the brass gets your energy going, and they’re not easy. So it tends to be an endurance issue, and also high and intricate parts. The higher and longer you have to play the more challenging it is.”
BSO conductor Beverly Everett said the musicians enjoy the change of pace that a movie score concert offers, but she knows how difficult it is for the brass section.
“I think the orchestra enjoys it,” Everett said, “But I can tell the brass, their eyes get a little bit big. They usually have to play in a pretty high register. We take all that for granted, because when we hear a movie soundtrack, that’s been professionally recorded. So we are used to hearing perfection when we go to the movies. It’s a challenge for the orchestra to have that knowledge and to still be enjoying the moment just like we would at one of our other concerts.”
Riess, for one, is certainly enjoying the moment.
“When I saw the song list, I got excited,” he said. “It does feature the brass. We’re kind of known for our egos, and we like to make a lot of noise if we can. This music growing up as a kid was integral to my love of music. I’m excited that I finally get to play it, instead of just hearing it while watching a movie.”
Everett says the works of composers like Williams have a special place in history.
“I’ve always said that when people look back 200 years from now the way that we look back and study Mozart and Beethoven and other composers, I think the scholars in the future are going to look back on our cinema music as some of the great music that was produced during the 20th and 21st centuries,” Everett said.
In keeping with the concert’s theme, Everett and orchestra members will be in costume, and attendees are encouraged to dress in costumes from their favorite movies.
If you go:
What: “Big Screen Rhythms” concert by Bemidji Symphony Orchestra
When: 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16
Where: Bemidji High School Auditorium
Tickets: $25 general admission, $20 for seniors age 62 and over, $10 for college students with ID, free for K-12 students. Available at Lueken’s Village Foods North and South, online at brownpapertickets.com, or at the door.
Notes: Attendees are encouraged to dress as your favorite character from film or TV, or wear your best awards show finery. Walk the red carpet and see the stars on the walk of fame.