Interpretation of the SI Symphony Orchestra in tribute to John Williams | SIU

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra is shown in a photo provided.


Music lovers and movie buffs may not know John Williams’ name, but both are likely aware of his work which will be presented by the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra at a 7:30 p.m. performance on Tuesday, March 29.

Williams, an acclaimed American composer is the man behind acclaimed songs and scores from a wide range of films including “Jaws”, “Superman”, “Harry Potter”, “ET”, “Jurassic Park”, ” The Terminal”, “Schindler’s List” and “Star Wars”.

The entire performance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Shryock Auditorium will feature Williams’ compositions and is in honor of his 90and anniversary last month, said SISO Director Ed Benyas.

“Williams is the most successful film composer in the history of American cinema and he has won numerous Oscars,” Benyas said. “His music is very accessible. It’s melodious and exciting with lots of brass and lots of beautiful melodies.

The concert will also feature a visual aspect – orchestra members and audience are encouraged to wear costumes from their favorite films.

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“I usually don’t really like to dress up, but I don’t particularly like wearing a tuxedo, so I’ll take advantage of that,” Benyas said without revealing his costume choice for the performance.

The concert will feature violin soloist Michael Barta, a music school teacher, and a clarinet solo by Hannah Faircloth, an SIU graduate student. Members of the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra include SIU students, community members, and local residents.

Prior to the orchestra’s first dress rehearsal, Walter Metz, a film professor at the SIU School of Media Arts, will present a free half-hour talk about Williams at 7:30 p.m. on March 27, on stage at Shryock Auditorium.

Tickets for the March 29 show are $20 for adults and $10 for students of any age. They are available at the door or in advance at the Saluki Athletic ticket office.

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