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Tulsa Symphony Orchestra brings Harry Potter to life

Chelsea Copeland / Red Dirt Report
The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra presented a special “Harry Potter”-themed concert at the Tulsa PAC.
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TULSA -- Are you as brave as a Gryffindor or as crafty as a Slytherin? The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra recently presented a special "Harry Potter" themed concert, performing John Williams' score of  "Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone" while the film was shown. Harry Potter fans, known as Potterheads, both young and old, flocked to downtown Tulsa for the event. Fans were dressed up in Hogwarts uniforms and scarves, lightning bolt scars and decked out witch’s hats.

I was with my parents for the show and as we waited to go into our theater, my mom commented on the number in attendance. 

“It’s Harry Potter,” I replied.

“It’s the music,” she countered.

“But it’s Harry Potter music,” I parried.

Harry Potter is more than a book and movie series. It’s also a feeling: one of nostalgia and wonder. Potter fans, myself included, may have read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix fifteen times since its publication in 2003 but we still feel the tight feeling of apprehension and shock when we read about Professor Umbridge using the Cruciatus Curse on Harry. For my Muggles- non-magic folk in the series and people who have not immersed themselves in the Potter culture in real life- out there who haven’t read the book, it means that a teacher used a pain-inducing curse on Harry.

When I say a wide variety of ages were in attendance, there really were. For my generation, millennials, we grew up right alongside Harry and the extensive world J.K. Rowling built, gave, and continues to give, fans a place to escape to. You don’t grow out of Harry Potter because the books and movies progressed with mystery, commentary and drama as the audience aged. There is a Potter for everyone! Children enjoy the lighter first few books and movies while the older ones have the entire series. It’s a popular fan debate on whether Potter is truly a children’s series or not.

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra played the music to the first film’s (The Sorcerer’s Stone) score as the movie played behind them. It added a rich warmth to the movie, having the live music being played. The conductor, John Beal, encouraged the audience to interact with the movie, to cheer for our favorite characters and boo our villains as the movie played. There was plenty of it but it never became too boisterous to enjoy the movie.

Potter swag was readily available from Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans (they mean every flavor), house scarves, character wands and tee shirts.

I spoke to Adam J. Foreman, Director of Marketing for the Tulsa PAC about the possibility of the rest of seven movies getting concerts.

“As of right now, there are no plans for any future “Harry Potter” symphony shows. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be. It just depends on the organizations that present the show and if they chose to do so again,” he said. 

The concert experience was delightful and the music was played expertly. If Tulsa is blessed to have a performance of the score from Chamber of Secrets, I highly recommend attending.

Oh, and Snape deserved better.

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About the Author

Chelsea Copeland

Chelsea Copeland is a native Oklahoman, born in Tulsa and raised in Coweta. She graduated from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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