Featuring music from “Star Wars,” “Jaws” and “E.T.,” The Boston Pops Orchestra will perform film composer John Williams’ best work in its upcoming concert at Texas A&M.
The Boston Pops is a professional orchestra founded in 1885 as an extension of the famous Boston Symphony Orchestra. Their upcoming concert will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium. The concert will be two hours long with a 20 minute intermission.
Dennis Alves is the director of artistic planning and works on the content of the program with the conductor, Keith Lockhart. Alves said that the Pops’ close relationship with their ex-conductor and current laureate conductor John Williams makes this concert special.
“This is not necessarily a typical Boston Pops concert,” Alves said. “The whole two hour concert will be the film music of John Williams. Our conductor, Keith Lockhart, has a narrative that he spins throughout the concert and in between the songs, telling stories about John Williams and his creative process. When we are putting the music together we are thinking of potentially what he is going to say.”
According to Alves, choosing which pieces to play out of Williams’ catalog proved to be difficult.
“First of all, we had to convince John to record some of his early stuff because he hardly plays his earlier film scores,” Alves said. “We of course wanted to play some of hits but we also wanted to play some of his earlier and more obscure pieces as well. We are doing a set of music called the magic of John Williams, around the world with John Williams, we have historical movies he has written for, and of course you couldn’t do a Boston Pops concert without the music from Star Wars.”
Christopher Ruigomez is the director of the Boston Pops and is tasked with making big budget decisions and overseeing the logistics of the orchestra. Ruigomez said that for the bigger instruments, a plane ticket is required for flight, so other transportation methods are utilized.
“There is a very big harp solo that’s from a small set in the movie E.T. that John has expanded,” Ruigomez said. “We have a truck that drove from Boston to here and will drive around Texas. You have to make sure you have a climate controlled truck, the cases are solid and packed in a way so nothing is slipping around, and leave a few days ahead.”
Kevin Owen is the principal french horn, meaning he plays the solo and leads the section. Owen said he is excited for the major theme of Star Wars, a tough piece primarily played on the french horn.
“We had exactly one rehearsal for this tour some weeks ago,” Owen said. “Everybody in the orchestra is a full time professional musician. We read music in the way that you read a book. We are prepared to play the music as close to perfect as we possibly can the first time. If John Williams was a very difficult composer to play, we might need more than one rehearsal but he knows the orchestra inside and out. We feel, in the french horn section, that he writes better for french horn than any other composer, but I know that all the other sections feel the same way.”