Harry Potter and Quad City Symphony make music together

The Adler Theatre was full of Harry Potter fans and symphony aficionados on Saturday for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra‘s live performance accompanying the entire film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

It was fabulous and amazing and delightful. As 10-year-old Anora put it: “I don’t know if I can ever watch the movie without thinking about this experience!” Her 8-year-old brother was even more impressed, “This was a life changer!”

Barretts: Brody (ll), Tricia, Cole (8). Enrights: Christine, Garrett (9). Rev. Michael Swartz, Klaukes: Jana, Fred, Austin (8), Anora (10),

Let me explain how this worked, Harry Potter fans young and old anxiously awaited the opening credits as the orchestra musicians took their places. The movie began, but the orchestral “background” music had been removed from the soundtrack. All the dialogue remained. For those that needed it, there was closed caption text at the bottom of the 40-foot screen. The Quad City Symphony played exactly as the movie soundtrack would except it was live instead of recorded.

Kirsten Day attended with her family and explained, “The playing so was good, there were times you almost didn’t realize it was a live orchestra. In some ways, when they ramped-up the volume during the final credits that was when we really appreciated how cool it was we had heard the music live!”

Shih-Hung Young was the guest conductor. He specializes in conducting Harry Potter performances like this one. He travels around the nation sharing this amazing score with fans of music and cinema. The timing and attention to musical detail is especially important for this type of performance since it has to fit exactly with the movie on the screen and the audience was definitely impressed.

“Harry Potter Symphony was everything we had hoped it would be! The QC Symphony did such a wonderful job combining the magic that is Harry Potter with the exquisiteness of the symphony orchestra at the Adler. I wish we could experience all of the HP films this way!” shared the Barrett family (Cole is 8 and Brody is 11). Or as slightly older fans, Callie and David Sederquist shared, “Harry Potter in Symphony!! ??  If I could watch every movie accompanied by a live orchestra, I definitely would!”

The Barretts and Sederquists are in luck! The Quad City Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce they will be performing a similar concert/movie combination next year around this same time showing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. You’ll want to get your tickets early, because it promises to sell out quickly.


About the author

Meghan Cooley Meghan Cooley moved to the Quad Cities from St. Charles, IL, as an Augustana College student over 20 years ago. She left briefly after graduation and then returned to work in admissions and then marketing at Augustana College for 18 years. She now works as a consultant for admissions marketing and social media. She also does copy editing and writes for the Quad City Moms Blog. Now a true Quad Cities transplant, Meghan lives in Rock Island with her husband, Luke (R.O.W.V.A. and Augustana grad and Modern Woodmen employee) and four boys. She loves living in the Quad Cities and finds it the perfect place to raise a family, plan a date night, and go on adventures.

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