by Bri Kilroy | photography by Terry Johnston
It takes less than the first six notes from “Hedwig’s Theme” to spark an awareness that something magical is about to happen. Those initial chords of composer John Williams’ internationally recognized score to an internationally unforgettable film series have served as the Platform 9 ¾ to every listener’s entrance into the Wizarding World.
This month, experience Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts with the Grand Rapids Symphony (GRS) performing every note of the iconic score live as the full movie plays on a 40-foot HD screen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at DeVos Performance Hall.
Whether you’ve immersed yourself in both the books and movies or have maintained a strictly cinematic relationship with the Harry Potter series, seeing the movie for the first time enhanced by the symphony is an entirely new experience: intrigue emerges when the orchestra introduces The Chamber of Secrets, goose bumps form when raining notes surround Harry and Ron with Aragog’s deadly offspring, and celebratory relief is felt when powerful music calms with the Basilisk’s defeat.
“The experience of seeing the movie with live music is unlike any other,” GRS Manager of Communication and Media Relations, Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, said. “Because the performances are live, each show has an different energy and feel every night.”
Kaczmarczyk said the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the big screen again, five years after it was released in theaters, gives fans the chance to absorb the film in a way they may not have when they first saw it. The addition of live music makes the film feel even more magical than before, resurrecting emotional responses to what’s happening onscreen and amplifying the audience’s presence in the movie.
Tickets for the performances start at $18 and can be purchased at grsymphony.org. Due to popularity and the anticipation of another sold out show (like their first presentation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), GRS added a third performance to their shows occurring September 29 (7:30 p.m.) and September 30 (2 and 7:30 p.m.). Like Harry’s journey, the adventure doesn’t stop there and tickets are already available for GRS’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (February 9 and 10, 2018).
What: Grand Rapids Symphony presents Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Where: DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW
When: September 29, 7:30 p.m. and September 30, 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $18. Purchase tickets at grsymphony.org.