Santa Rosa Symphony plays along with 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' at Green Music Center

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Subscribe

If You Go

What: “‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ — In Concert,” with the Santa Rosa Symphony

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24

Where: Weill Hall and Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park

Admission: $25-$85; $12.50 for lawn seating for ages 3-12

Information: 707-664-4246; gmc.sonoma.edu

Up on the big screen, intrepid archeologist Indiana Jones enters the forbidden temple as the tension builds and the music rises, but wait a minute. Something’s different.

Yes, you’re watching the 1981 adventure classic all right, but that’s a live orchestra playing John Williams’ Academy Award-winning score.

“We’re showing the movie and the Santa Rosa Symphony will be playing along, performing the score live,” said Jacob Yarrow, executive director of the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park.

“‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ — In Concert,” scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24, at the center’s Weill Hall and Lawn, is a first for both the symphony and the venue, but reflects a growing national trend.

“It’s a relatively new way to relate to the audience,” said the symphony’s music director, Francesco Lecce-Chong, who will conduct the orchestra as it plays the original score, timed to fit the action on the screen.

“You’re watching the movie, but the sound is much better,” he said. “It shows the power of a live orchestra, and you’ll still hear all the dialog and sound effects.”

Having conducted similar concerts in the past with other orchestras as they accompanied screenings of “Star Wars” (with another score by Williams) and “Casablanca,” Lecce-Chong is confident that a good time will be had by all.

“Why I love doing this so much is that the audience relates to the music in a new way because they’re hearing it live, and it gives them a deeper appreciation of what an orchestra does,” he said.

The idea to try pairing a film with a live concert here started with Alan Silow, president and CEO of the Santa Rosa Symphony.

“We’re continually looking at how we can reach different parts of the community in the long term,” he said. “How are we going to engage the community?”

Silow sees this event as another step in the direction the orchestra took 12 years ago, when it began its Symphony Pops concerts at the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa, where the series is still running, but this time with movies.

A popular film is a big draw, with the potential to bring in an audience that might not normally attend a symphony concert.

“This is becoming more and more common around the country,” Silow said. “It’s a much more visceral experience to hear a live orchestra, and you’re watching the movie as part of a huge group of people. You can relish that town-square communal feeling.”

Silow hopes that the event will be a hit and become a yearly tradition for the symphony, and Lecce-Chong still has at least one more John Williams film score on his wish list.

“I’m dying to do ‘Jurassic Park,’ ” the conductor said.

For Yarrow, head of the Green Music Center, it sounds like a winning formula.

“John Williams is one of the most substantial film composers around,” he said. “His music is very popular.”

You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @danarts.

If You Go

What: “‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ — In Concert,” with the Santa Rosa Symphony

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24

Where: Weill Hall and Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park

Admission: $25-$85; $12.50 for lawn seating for ages 3-12

Information: 707-664-4246; gmc.sonoma.edu

Show Comment

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine