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Use the Force, Lucas… - The BSO presents 'The Music of Star Wars'

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ORONO – Music from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away is coming to the Collins Center for the Arts stage.

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is presenting “The Music of Star Wars” for two performances at the CCA, located on the University of Maine campus. The shows are taking place on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. and March 5 at 3 p.m.

 

BSO music director and conductor Lucas Richman has a lengthy history with composer John Williams (the man responsible for the iconic music associated with the “Star Wars” films); he’s particularly excited about bringing music from these beloved films (including “The Force Awakens,” if you’re wondering) to area audiences.

These shows will also feature special guests, including cosplayers and Paul Bussiere’s legendary R2-D2 model. In addition, singers from Bangor High School, Hampden Academy and the Bangor Area Children’s Choir will be featured in certain of the show’s pieces.

Maestro Richman was kind enough to answer a few questions in advance of the performances.

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TME - What prompted you and the BSO to put together a program such as this one?

Lucas Richman - When we are in the midst of planning our pops programs for the Bangor Symphony, one of the primary goals is to find music and guest artists that will appeal to a wide range of audience members, many of whom may not otherwise even consider attending a symphony event.

The music from “Star Wars” has become engrained in our modern culture as a touchstone that reaches across all categorical divisions in our society and serves as a uniting force across all spectra, so it made perfect sense for us to present it at this time.

TME - What can audiences expect from this show?

LR - We are excited to be presenting music from all seven of the films so far available in the Star Wars saga for which John Williams wrote the score (the score for “Rogue One” was written by Michael Giacchino so it will not be featured).

Performing on stage will be the full forces of the Bangor Symphony on stage along with a chorus made up of some of the best high school vocalists in the area. In lieu of actual video clips, I will stitch together the narrative of the saga between selections and we will have several characters from the movies featured on stage and in the lobby, courtesy of the 501st Legion.

TME - How do you feel about this music specifically? That is, do you have any thoughts about its appeal as just music, separate from the whole "Star Wars" phenomenon?

LR - Mr. Williams is a genius storyteller with his music, evoking every nuance of every emotion by his skilled arrangements of notes, rhythms and orchestration. I have greatly enjoyed conducting selections from this epic score over the past few decades and, in 2010, Mr. Williams tapped me to be the conductor for an 11-week tour of Star Wars in Concert. Shortly after that tour, again upon Mr. Williams’ recommendation, I was invited to conduct Star Wars with the Oslo Philharmonic (to which I will be returning for my third engagement this coming November).

However, even with my having led over one hundred performances of this music, I never tire of it as there is so much depth in its creation and there is always something new to discover.

TME - You've got extensive experience with John Williams's "Star Wars" music. What is it about these works that keeps drawing you back? Are you always looking at the music with new eyes?

LR - Every time I have had the honor of conducting “Star Wars" in front of an audience, the visceral reaction that erupts even from hearing the opening splash of sound reminds me that John Williams crafted one of the most iconic film scores of all time. It is thrilling for me and the musicians on stage to be able to share this music with audiences of all ages, some for whom the music has served as a soundtrack to their lives while, for others, this might be their first introduction to not only the music but the experience of watching and hearing an orchestra bring it to life.

TME - Are you yourself a fan of the "Star Wars" films? 

LR - I am, indeed, a big fan of the “Star Wars” films! The films I most enjoy are those that find a happy balance of action, romance, humor, pathos and spirituality—and “Star Wars” delivers on every single one of those aspects.

(Tickets for “The Music of Star Wars” can be purchased online at bangorsymphony.org or by calling the CCA box office at 1-800-622-TIXX(8499).)

Last modified on Wednesday, 01 March 2017 13:22

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