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Keeping scores

Young musicians set to play ‘Lights! Camera! Music!’ at PCC.

May 15, 2010|By Nicole Charky

Instead of watching “Lord of the Rings,” “Chicago” or “Gladiator,” Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra will re-create the films’ music with an 84-member orchestra.

The orchestra’s spring concert “Lights! Camera! Music!” will be Sunday in Sexson Auditorium at Pasadena City College. The performance will feature music from film genres including action, historical adventures, space odysseys, comedies and musicals.

The orchestra has a more than 50-year tradition for students in 10th grade through college. Members live throughout Southern California, and many are from La Cañada, Glendale and Burbank. More than 30 schools are represented in the orchestra.

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Orchestra members will perform movie scores, a concept parents and music coaches were interested in. Each orchestra coach chose a piece to conduct for the final concert of the year.

“Robin Hood Prince of Thieves,” “The Pink Panther” and “The Children of Sanchez” are some of the highlighted songs. Musicians will perform Richard Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra” from the film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” said Jo Stoup, conductor of the orchestra.

“[Strauss] didn’t write it for the movie, but here it is, and now more people know it as the opening for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’” Stoup said.

The challenge behind the concert is the diversity in conducting and the various conductors for the performance.

“It’s good for the kids to work under a lot of different conductors and styles,” Stoup said. “They’re having so much fun with it. They’re able to stand up and play.”

The concert will feature creative arrangements and more physical performances, where orchestra members stand up to play, in addition to a classic orchestra.

Estelle Chase, winner of orchestra’s Instrumental Competition, will perform the Grieg Piano Concerto, a piece that was featured in films “The Seventh Veil” and “Lolita.” Excerpts from this piece were also used in Nike and Range Rover commercials.

Another orchestra performance will be a John Williams tribute, a medley of Williams’ work from “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and the Harry Potter movies.

La Cañada High School senior Ling Rao plays harp in the orchestra. Ling has spent the past six years playing the instrument.

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