As part of the Provo Freedom Festival the Utah Symphony performs at the Sundance amphitheater sometime around the fourth of July. This year was no exception. Mountain Dad and I enjoyed listening to John Phillips Sousa, John Williams, Bernstein and other patriotic composers while sitting on a picnic blanket on the grass above the seats. It was a perfect summer evening.
I wonder how the orchestra members feel about playing pieces like the Star Wars theme song. These musicians are accustomed to more elegant selections in their daily life. Do they roll their eyes each year at playing the proletariat pleasers like the medley of South Pacific? Or do they, like the rest of us, enjoy a bit of nostalgia at the prospect of playing and listening to those tunes? Since concert music is no longer the main source of entertainment in the western world it’s no surprise that most of the song selections were recognizable. Many were part of movie or musical scores, either originally or movies and tv have adopted them. For example, John Williams’ Olympic theme, which was wonderfully performed, is now used as ABC’s intro during their Olympic reporting. We are now visual creatures and for whatever reason classical music seems to need a visual outlet more than say a rock concert would. Maybe it’s because there are fewer songs to sing along to in the classical music set. Regardless it seems like music often involves multiple brain activities, listening and watching or listening and singing.
It was a wonderful night with good music and good company. Live music is truly best.