An evening with a few friends …

… from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra had a concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta and they set aside the way-back sections and the lawn for inexpensive tickets for a fund-raiser for the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra. At the beginning of the concert the conductor said “for those of you on the lawn, yes the concert has begun”. The program was the music of John Williams with lots of Star Wars. I thought it sounded fun and Katy and Heath wanted to go. So we did.

I learned all kinds of things. I didn’t know Williams wrote the music for Jaws, ET or the NBC Nightly News. He also arranged the music from the stage production of Fiddler on the Roof for the movie version and that was what his first Oscar was for.

Also learned something new, instrument-wise. One of the instruments played tonight (I forget which piece) was the celesta. It looks like a small piano but instead of the hammers striking string, they strike metal plates.

A celesta
A celesta

You’ve probably heard it here or here. I always thought the first one was chimes and the second was a piano or maybe a xylophone. Well, you learn something new everyday.

But the main attraction was Star Wars. There were lots of little kids dressed in costume and lots of characters to meet and take photos with and we hit nearly all of them.

Kylo Ren, Stormtrooper and Rey
Kylo Ren, Stormtrooper and Rey
The big man himself
The big man himself
You can't really see Princess Leia but she's back there. I don't know who the two characters on the right are.
You can’t really see Princess Leia but she’s back there. I don’t know who the two characters on the right are.
A few members of the band.
A few members of the band.
Who are these people?
I have no idea who these people are

A few of the characters made appearances while the orchestra was playing and the best was when Darth Vader came out to his theme and took matters into his own hand. Katy got some video but was laughing and cheering so hard she couldn’t hold the phone still. You can skip to about 40 seconds if you want.

It was a really fun evening and a different type of concert. The conductor was really entertaining and personable. He said that the last few notes of Anakin’s Theme are the same as the first few notes of Darth Vader’s Theme to show that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader then said “oh, wait, I assumed everyone already knew that and if you didn’t, you probably don’t care”. He also pointed out that Superman (Williams wrote that theme, too) just takes off his glasses and no recognizes him. He said he went into another room, took off his glasses and came back in and his wife recognized him right away. I think he needed a cape to really pull it off.

There were lots of families with really young kids and was a good chance to introduce them to that type of music and concert. There was a violin soloist Katy was really impressed with, she got some video of him, too.

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