This week, the University of South Carolina’s Symphony Orchestra brings us the uplifting themes and dramatic flair of composer John Williams.
Williams is responsible for the music fueling the terrifying shark in “Jaws,” the booby trap escapes in “Indiana Jones,” the iconic Phone Home scene in “E.T.” and more than 150 other films. Most recently he has worked on the score for “Star Wars: Episode VII,” coming out in December.
The USC orchestra will perform nine signature editions at the “John Williams Extravaganza!” on Tuesday at the Koger Center. The show will include selections from “Hook,” “Superman,” “Harry Potter,” “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones.” Guest artist Michael Ludwig will perform two violin solos to music from “Schindler’s List” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
“We’ve all seen the movies a million times. If you hear ‘Indiana Jones,’ you can remember the movie and know exactly what’s happening,” music director Donald Portnoy said. “It’s great, great music.”
It’s difficult music as well. Portnoy said each piece has its own intricacies. The orchestra will have nearly 90 musicians to play all of instruments Williams’ robust scores demand.
Each piece will be led by a graduate conducting student, who will dress in accordance with the music he or she is conducting. (So watch for pirate hats, Hogwarts scarves and Superman shirts.) Children and adults are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite John Williams movie superhero, with prizes for the best costumes awarded during intermission.
What’s that? Costumes and movie tunes at the symphony? You read it right. The show is a change of pace from the traditional classical music the orchestra typically plays, Portnoy said.
“It’s just a fun evening of making music.”
The “John Williams Extravaganza!” with guest violinist Michael Ludwig is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Koger Center for the Arts. $30; $25 for seniors, USC faculty and staff; $8 students. For tickets, call (803) 777-7500, visit the Koger Box Office on the corner of Greene and Park streets or go online at kogercenterforthearts.com.
Channel your ‘Indie Spirit’ at Museum of Art concert
The Columbia Museum of Art and Girls Rock Columbia are celebrating the women keeping the pioneering spirit of Georgia O'Keeffe alive in the arts. The two groups are treating the community to “Indie Spirit,” a free concert and a day of family-friendly activities. There will be performances from local leading ladies Paisley Suttlemyre, My Brother My Sister, Falling Off a Building, Debbie and the Skanks, and The Prairie Willows.
“Indie Spirit” is an all-ages event to be held outside from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Boyd Plaza, 1515 Main St. Bar sponsored by The Whig. Food provided by The Wurst Wagon. www.columbiamuseum.org/happenings/indie-spirit-concert
See Trustus Theatre’s new play
Trustus Theatre’s latest Blackbox show is Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “The Brothers Size,” a tough and tender drama about what it means to be a brother. “The Brothers Size” is the second part of The Brothers/Sister Plays and is directed by Chad Henderson. Expect flights of poetry, music and West African mythology wrapped into one contemporary tale.
The show runs through Oct. 31. Trustus is at 520 Lady St. $25, $20 for students. (803) 254-9732. trustus.org
S.C. Phil cracks open The Great American Songbook
“Happy Days Are Here Again” when the S.C. Philharmonic takes audiences “Over the Rainbow” in this concert based on some of America’s most influential songs of the 20th century, from “Singin’ in the Rain” to “Dancing in the Dark.”
3:30 p.m. Sunday at Harbison at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College St., Irmo. $29, (803)407-5011, www.harbisontheatre.org/
Nominate an artist
Nominations for the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts are due Nov. 2. All it takes is a letter to nominate your local arts heroes for a Verner.