A Horror Movie at the Symphony

Photo Courtesy of butler.edu.

Natalie Kinney | Staff Reporter | nkinney@butler.edu

The Butler University Symphony Orchestra presented their latest and spooky installment from their Music at Butler Series on Saturday October 22, 2016 in Howard L. Schrott Center.

As the lights dimmed and the conductor, Richard Auldon Clark, stepped onto the stage, the excitement and energy radiated from each player in the room: the musicians, the composers, and the audience. The energy was palpable. The night consisted of five different pieces, all inspired by fall, as Halloween is quickly approaching.

The audience was immediately submerged into the Indiana Hospital for the Insane in the first piece A Night in the Asylum: Central State Hospital. Towards the end of the piece, the musicians ran to the conductor. After a crash of the cymbals, he emerged in a strait jacket and ran to the wings of the stage as the lights went out.

The music was unlike anything anyone could expect when attending a symphony. The size of the stage shrunk down to just stings and continued the night with Michael Schelle’s composition And Then They Just Disappear Into the Night.

Before the intermission, the audience felt as if they were inside a scary movie with entertaining moments from the conductor’s violent and passionate directing. He moved like a huge wave, sometimes both his feet weren’t touching the ground. He shot left and right with the music and his musicians followed with incredible intent and focus. In the audience, the original composers were following Clark and the Symphony with equal vigor and excitement and pride. To have all four composers alive and attending the performance is a rarity and was obviously a real honor and treat for the musicians and audience alike.

“The best part is the fact that the entire concert is comprised of living composers and they’re all here. That just doesn’t happen ever, so this is kind of a big deal for all of us,” said Saturday’s pianist Andrew Filson.

The show closed with two scores from horror movies The Monkey King and Hellraiser/Hellbound both composed by Christopher Young.

Young ran to the stage after the performance to give a bear hug and praise to the conductor and symphony, wearing a bright orange and black striped coat jacket and a matching fedora. The night received three standing ovations over the course of the pieces that evening.

The entire performance transported the members of the audience to October 31st a week early, while simultaneously teaching that Orchestral Symphony music doesn’t just have to be Mozart and Beethoven.