What a magical experience! Be it new to the wizarding world, or a long time member of Hogwarts, you haven’t seen “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” until you’ve seen it accompanied by the Florida Orchestra, led by conductor John Jesensky. Add a dash of a cinematic big screen experience, plus an ounce of close to 80 of the best musicians that Florida has to offer and you’ll conjure up one of the biggest live events of the year!
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Film Concert Series brings to life John Williams’ iconic score to live theater audiences, while they enjoy watching the film in its original state on the big screen. What makes this experience unique, is that not only do you hear each note performed live and unaltered to accompany the film, the audience’s passion is in full throttle. You can only find this kind of participation at a concert or a sporting event. Expect cheers when young Harry steps onto the screen for the first time, baring his iconic scar. Chants rang out as to which house you may pledge your allegiance and they filled up the Straz theater with a level of excitement that is unmatched.
From the very first note, goosebumps ran down my arms, once my mind comprehended that I was both seeing Daniel Radcliffe on screen and hearing the iconic theme played on a celesta, setting the tone for the bewitching evening. Moments that were already exciting, became physical as the melodies jumped into my body and drew me deeper into the story line. From title screen to credit roll, it’s impossible not to be in awe with the talent performing flawlessly a score that can be easily taken granted for without a live orchestra.
I should state, that one might consider me a Hufflepuff or even to go as far as to calling me a Muggle, when it comes to my Harry Potter fandom. While I enjoy the films, I dare say, that I have never opened one of J.K. Rowling’s novels about the marked wizard and his band of fellow school mates. With that said, the night was truly enchanting. Watching young children dressed in their favorite quidditch outfit to adults waving their wands around, it was truly mesmerizing that after 16 years, “Potter Mania” is still alive and going strong.
After speaking to 7th grader Bianca, supporting her house Ravenclaw, who could barely hold back her excitement. A french horn musician, Bianca told me that she was going to immediately learn all of the notes to her favorite Harry Potter themes after taking in this live performance. It’s moments like this or when I came across a family dressed in their Gryffindor robes jumping in anticipation after finding out that the Florida Orchestra will be back performing this December “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” that made this a night to never forget.
I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the other movies in the series quite the same way again after experiencing this full piece orchestra. For both a fan of live music as well as the cinema, this is truly the best way for Harry Potter fans to experience the beloved adventure into the mystics.
Check to see if you city is on the tour list. You won’t regret it.