Music makes movies magical

Music makes movies magical

Movie stars soak up all the attention on the red carpet but in that darkened theater, it’s the songs and scores that do most of the emotional heavy lifting. The music sweeps you right along with the action, nudges a smile or tear, and makes your heart swell.

Pops I: “Oscar Classics” will remind you of all that, with treasured tunes that’ll whisk you right back to storyland. Along the way, enjoy a few fun facts about the fine music this concert highlights.

Big drama wasn’t the aim for the “Titanic” score. James Horner’s music strikes the chord of intimacy and timelessness that made filmmaker Jim Cameron first want Irish singer and songwriter Enya for the job.

For the so-classy theme from “The Pink Panther,” Henry Mancini gave animators a tempo they could animate to, and musical accents tie into onscreen actions. The cool cat’s jazzy sax calling card is a quick trip to ‘60s bliss.

The single of Alan Menken/Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning “Aladdin” song, “A Whole New World,” recorded by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, was just the magic it took to knock Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” (after a record 14 weeks) out of the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

In addition to its best original score Oscar, Ernest Gold’s “Theme of Exodus” is the only instrumental song to win a Song of the Year Grammy Award.

Listen close to Victor Young’s lilting and waltzy “Around the World in 80 Days,” and pick out musical nods to locales along the way.

The Mancini-composed “Moon River” for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is another beloved winner, curling up in the public heart and pop culture history. It relaunched lyricist Johnny Mercer’s songwriting career to the point that an inlet in his Savannah hometown was named Moon River in his honor.

Miklos Rozsa’s inspiration for the triumphal “Parade of the Charioteers” from “Ben Hur” came to him in Rome, on Palatine Hill (site of Caesar’s palaces and first nucleus of the Roman Empire), where he stood and imagined the vistas as they would have been then.

For “E.T.,” composer John Williams ran into trouble timing the music during the recording of the finale chase. Director Steven Spielberg turned off the projector and asked the composer to record the music the way he wanted, then edited the scenes around the recording.

That’s how vital music is to movie magic.


10.16.21 / Thalia Mara Hall / 7:30 pm / Jackson, MS / Tickets $27 & up: buy online here >

Concert program:

  • A Tribute to John Williams
  • Tara’s Theme from Gone With the Wind
  • Themes from Exodus
  • Theme from Around the World in 80 Days
  • Theme from The Summer of ’42  
  • Theme from The Pink Panther
  • Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s  
  • Main Themes from Titanic
  • Parade of the Charioteers from Ben Hur
  • Overture to West Side Story
  • Feather Theme from Forrest Gump
  • Whole New World from Aladdin
  • Symphonic Suite from Lord of the Rings
  • Shark’s Theme from Jaws
  • Main Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Adventures on Earth from E.T.

MSO is committed to the health and safety of our community, our patrons, and our musicians. We continue to monitor CDC guidelines, as well as those initiated by state, city, and county authorities. Protocols are subject to change accordingly. Please check our website for the lastest COVID information regarding each concert. Masks are required at Thalia Mara Hall.