￼ n celebration of film music, Winston-Salem Symphony will present two concerts featuring superhero soundtracks for all ages.
A Music That Pops concert titled “The Sounds of Cinema: Heroes and Villains” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on April 9, followed by an Ignite Family Series concert titled “Superhero Soundtrack!” at 3 p.m. on April 10.
Both concerts will take place at the RJ Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem.
Stuart Chafetz, known for creating fun and innovative performances, will be the guest conductor.
“It’s basically a tribute to all of these wonderful themes from all the great superhero movies from TV to radio,” Chafetz said of the concerts. “It’s a wide variety of music that grandma and grandpa can love and their grandkids can love. Everyone can understand some of that in the program.
“The Sounds of Cinema: Heroes and Villains” will feature heroic film music from John Williams, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Michael Giacchino and more. Attendees will have the chance to experience classics and recent favorites as the orchestra swings into action with music from films such as “The Avengers”, “Captain America”, “Spider-Man”, “X- Men”, “Batman”, “Superman”, “Wonder Woman” and “The Incredibles”.
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The classic pieces date back to the radio show “The Lone Ranger” with “William Tell Overture”, as well as Korngold’s music from the film “The Adventures of Robin Hood”, with Errol Flynn.
On April 10, the fun will continue in a shorter performance for young viewers ages 4 and up. Attendees are encouraged to dust off their capes and dress up as their favorite superheroes (or villains) for this Ignite Family Series concert.
Both concerts will open with “Summon the Heroes” by composer John Williams, who wrote themes for the Olympics and composed some of the most popular film scores, including for the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” series. .
“It’s going to feature the lead trumpet,” Chafetz said. “There’s a beautiful solo, and it’s very heroic.”
Chafetz hopes everyone, including adults, will wear superhero costumes for both concerts.
“We can have a great time,” he said.
As a conductor, Chafetz enjoys involving the audience in orchestral performances.
“I like to make sure people can sing or even dance, as long as they don’t disturb their partner or the people sitting next to them,” he said. “I like encouraging people to clap.”
“Another thing about it is that it really showcases the Winston-Salem Symphony,” he added. “There isn’t necessarily a soloist, strictly speaking, except that the orchestra is really the star soloist. The music is about superheroes, but it’s also about putting the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra in the spotlight.
The concerts, he said, are also dedicated to all the superheroes in our own backyard, such as first responders, frontline workers, police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses, who have done a miraculous job over the past two years.
“These are the real superheroes,” Chafetz said.
Gather the community
Chafetz is the principal pop conductor of the Columbus Symphony in Columbus, Ohio, and the principal pop conductor of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in Upstate New York and the Marin Symphony in Marin County, in California.
Although this is his first time as guest conductor for Winston-Salem Symphony, he is no stranger to the Triad. He lived in the Triad for a year and was a timpanist for the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in 1988.
Chafetz is increasingly in demand by orchestras around the world. This season, he will be on the podiums of Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Naples, Philly Pops, Cincinnati Pops and Pittsburgh. He conducts several programs each year with the Phoenix Symphony.
Previously, he was Resident Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra.
As principal timpanist of the Honolulu Symphony for 20 years, Chafetz will also lead annual Nutcracker performances with Ballet Hawaii and Directors of American Ballet Theater.
He has been a bandleader since 1993 and decided to focus on pop concerts in 2007.
Chafetz said he became interested in conducting, especially pop concerts, because he wanted to appeal to audiences who were not generally familiar with classical concerts or the good work of their local orchestras.
“I thought one way to do that would be to reach the whole community and people who wouldn’t normally come to the symphony orchestra,” he said.
Chafetz jokes that he went from two sticks to one.
“I decided to make it my mission to make it a civic pride with your symphony orchestra by bringing the whole community around it,” he said.
He added: “Because it’s a competitive world with pretty much everything on your phone, you can do whatever you want. You can listen. You can talk. It tells you your heart rate. What I try to do is bring the whole family – grandparents, parents and children – to a concert, where everyone can enjoy it and experience a live symphony orchestra.
These days, Chafetz said, superheroes and movies — live with the orchestra — are popular.
“In other words, you could watch ‘Star Wars’ with the Winston-Salem Symphony accompanying the movie,” he said. “It’s such an amazing experience. Very often you’ll find people who’ve never been to the symphony come to pop concerts like that because that’s what draws them to the interest in the show, and they find out later, ‘Wow, listen to that orchestra symphonic. I had no idea that the orchestra had such a big role in the film.
Chafetz encourages everyone to attend the Winston-Salem Symphony concerts on April 9 and 10.
“If you’ve never been to the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra before, this is the one you’ll want to go to because it contains so many great themes that we all know and love, and it’s a chance to bring the whole family,” Chafetz said.