Harry Potter in Concert - An Amazing Experience

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Harry Potter Live Concert Series

I got the chance to see the Harry Potter Concert Series live at Powell Hall last Friday, and it was a fantastic experience! 

One of the best parts of the Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone movie is the iconic score composed by the incomparable John Williams. I remember first seeing the film when it came out and getting chills during "Hedwig's Theme." For such a popular franchise with such great characters, intense action, and magic, I'm so happy John Williams was able to lend his immeasurable talent to the score. 

But the only thing better than seeing the movie in theaters is seeing it on an equally big screen while the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra plays the score live below. The movie Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone plays on a massive screen, but with the music removed - the soundtrack is instead played live by the orchestra.

They literally play every part. Anytime there was music in the movie, the orchestra is playing. When the WB logo first pops up? They're playing. When the magical harp distracts Fluffy the three-headed dog? There's a harpist playing. It was almost mind-blowing how accurately the orchestra was able to play scene-for-scene exactly in time with the movie, despite the fact that the musicians are not watching the movie themselves. This speaks enormously to the talent of conductor Justin Freer. Conducting an entire orchestra for 3 hours is no easy task; conducting an entire orchestra for 3 hours, in exact time with a movie the musicians can't see? It seems nearly impossible. 

As usual with fandom events, there were people in varying stages of costume - from time-turner necklaces and Marauder's Map t-shirts, all the way up to full-on Hogwarts uniforms. There were people of all ages in the audience, from young children all the way up through fully costumed adult fans. During the intermission, "butterbeer" and "polyjuice potion" were available for purchase, which added to the atmosphere. 

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to see Star Wars in Concert, and it was wonderful. However, the score was played live over various clips of the movies rather than an entire film. I remember thinking how cool it would have been if they had played during the whole movie. And now, that's what Harry Potter Film Concert Series is! I'm really hoping they will do the other 7 Harry Potter movies too (although I can see how this would get harder, as the films get progressively longer). The movie dialogue was a little echo-y, as the theater's accoustics aren't designed for movies, but with subtitles it was easy to hear and understand everything. 

You can find out if Harry Potter in Concert is coming to a city near you right here and you can get information on other upcoming CineConcerts here.

I highly recommend this cool experience to relive Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone on the big screen, complete with a full orchestra, to any HP fans! So much fun, and I'll definitely be attending more CineConcerts in the future. 


5.0 / 5.0