Orchestra honors James Horner

Intermediate and Advanced Orchestra performed at its annual concert “The Magic of Music and Movies” on Thursday, Feb. 11 in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). The concert included a special tribute to famous composer and a friend of the music program James Horner, who passed away last year after composing multiple award-winning soundtracks to popular movies of the 21st Century.

“People don’t really notice music in movies, [but] the music and the people who write the music are what make the audience laugh and cry, and I think that’s what I realized the most [after learning about James Horner],” Intermediate Orchestra cellist senior Monique Chang said. “I’ve developed a respect for him and his work while preparing for this concert [so] I felt really proud and happy doing a tribute for him.”

To prepare for the concert, both orchestras started practice a month earlier in the classroom and PAC.

“[Practicing] gives you assurance that you’ll do well so you’ll be less nervous. If you know you sound good, then it’ll give you more confidence that you won’t be as nervous during the concert,” Advanced Orchestra violinist sophomore Andrew Goh said.

The performance included music from the films Somewhere in Time, The Great Escape and The Sons of Katie Elder by composer Elmer Burnstein. The concert also featured Horner’s pieces from Avatar, Titanic, Braveheart and The Mask of Zorro, as well as music from Frozen.

“I feel like [the concert] really connects to the audience because we have a wide variety [of movies] for the audience, and the people in the audience are all of different ages,” Advanced Orchestra violinist senior Celine Chong said. “In the concert, we have movies from a while ago and also popular movies like Frozen, [so] there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

In addition, Stagecraft projected video clips from each film corresponding to the music’s rhythm and sound on a screen behind the orchestra.

“Since [the music] goes along with the movie, we have to play emotionally like the feelings you get from the scenes,” Advanced Orchestra violinist sophomore Katherine Tam said. “We have to be the background music, build up to the climactic part and make it dramatic. The feelings you get from the scenes from the movies [are] really beautiful so a lot of emotion is added to [the music.]”

Among the audience was Horner’s daughter, Emily Horner, who attended the concert as a guest of honor.

“This concert was my favorite concert out of all the concerts I’ve been in. I remembered hoping that James Horner’s daughter felt some comfort and pride that we chose to honor him and do a tribute,” Chang said. “I thought our performance as a whole went well and I felt like the audience really enjoyed it.”

By Amy Lo, Staff writer

Photo by Justin Jiang