The Music of “Harry Potter” Takes Over an Upstate NY Theater
The haunting melody of “Hedwig’s Theme” will welcome thousands as the first notes heard in the Binghamton Philharmonic’s The Magical Music of Harry Potter concert. The orchestra, based in the small city of Binghamton, New York, will bring a score of favorite tunes from the Potter films to an upstate audience. So how did this philharmonic decide to delve into the Potterverse?
“Last season, we had a Star Wars concert that was very well received, and we thought ‘What’s next?’” says Binghamton Philharmonic Executive Director Brittany Hall. “Harry Potter had been in the news for the 20th anniversary, and there’s terrific music from John Williams to Harry Potter, so we said, ‘Let’s do Harry Potter.’”
The decision was unanimous. “It was something that I grew up with since childhood,” and Hall is not alone in that regard. She says the rest of the staff is just as excited.
It was a consensus pretty much as soon as someone mentioned Harry Potter.
“Some of the themes like ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ will be in the concert along with the Knight Bus ride.” Hall’s face lights up when talking about the jaunty tune from the bus scene. “Just concepts from the movie that will bring the night together.”
Tying those concepts together, a local actor will also perform readings from the books, turning the night into not only a tribute to the music but also a nod to J.K. Rowling’s rich storytelling.
The concert is a two-night event. On October 27, the show will be at the Forum Theater in Binghamton, and on the 28, the orchestra will travel the 45 minutes to Ithaca, New York, to play during the Wizarding Weekend event.
The two performances are several weeks away, but the response from the public has already been huge. Hall says the two shows are more than halfway sold out, so the Philharmonic fully expects to play to over 3,000 people on Halloween weekend. This is a major audience for the small-town orchestra and a way to invite newcomers into the realm of classical music.
“We’re always trying to introduce new people to classical music and what we find is, familiarity is the most important,” says Hall. Costumes, wands, and robes are more than welcome, but best to leave the owls, cats, and toads at home.
If you go:
When: October 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Broome County Forum in Binghamton (27) and the State Theater in Ithaca (28)
Tickets: $20, $30, $45
For the Binghamton concert, call 607-723-3931, visit www.binghamtonphilharmonic.org, or stop by in person at the philharmonic’s office located at 71 W. State St., Binghamton on the lower level. For the Ithaca show, visit www.stateofithaca.org.