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The Juneau Symphony’s close of the season concert is approaching quickly and it promises to be nothing but extraordinary, and will give the audience a unique insight on what classical music can be.
A tribute to the movie maestro: John Williams 060717 AE 1 Mackenzie Fisher, for the Capital City Weekly The Juneau Symphony’s close of the season concert is approaching quickly and it promises to be nothing but extraordinary, and will give the audience a unique insight on what classical music can be.

Juneau Symphony rehearses inside the @360 studios of KTOO for the John Williams concert. Photo by Abby Cook.


Music Director Troy Quinn. Courtesy image.


FILE - In this June 9, 2016, file photo, composer John Williams poses on the red carpet at the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to John Williams at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The composer of the music scores for “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” and other iconic films is being honored by his former orchestra. The Boston Pops Orchestra is kicking off a series of performances devoted to the music of John Williams with concerts on April 7 and 8, 2017. Williams served as the ensemble’s conductor from 1980 to 1993 and is its conductor laureate. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Story last updated at 6/7/2017 - 7:51 pm

A tribute to the movie maestro: John Williams

The Juneau Symphony’s close of the season concert is approaching quickly and it promises to be nothing but extraordinary, and will give the audience a unique insight on what classical music can be.

“We’re very excited about (this concert),” Juneau Symphony’s Executive Director Laura Haywood said. “The thing that’s great about this event is that it gives a wide range of classical.”

This concert will be in tribute to American composer and conductor John Williams. Johnwilliams.org accredits Williams as being “one of the most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage.” He has composed the music as well as taken the position as music director for more than one hundred films including seven of the Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter movies, “Jaws,” “Home Alone,” “The Patriot” and “Jurassic Park.”

The decision to attribute this concert entirely to Williams was made by Juneau Symphony Music Director Troy Quinn.

“(Williams) wrote the soundtrack to our lives,” Quinn said. “I think he can apply to a wide range of folks (because) you don’t have to know classical music to appreciate the sound.”

Quinn is now in his second season as music director with the Juneau Symphony and who’s original involvement was one of lucky coincidence.

“Well, I actually just saw the job listing and thought it would be a wonderful place to make music. It had a vibrant arts community and I just applied for the job. Just sort of a random thing. I got here and fell in love with it.” Juneau is now what Quinn calls his “second home.”

Although from Los Angeles where he participates in film and studio work (recently he recorded in the movie “Storks”) Quinn travels to Southeast Alaska four times a year to conduct both the Classical and Pops concert series. Quinn’s online biography places him as someone who is “quickly establishing himself as one of his generation’s most versatile young artists. Lauded for his energetic and riveting, yet sensitive conducting.”

Haywood describes Quinn as being “in charge of the artistic side of things.” Quinn chose Williams to be the forefront of the Juneau Symphony’s Spring Concert for a few reasons.

“Personally he’s one of my favorite composers,” Quinn said. “I became an enamored fan of his as a young boy. I think it’s also a wonderful challenge for our orchestra. Some of the musicians (that will be playing in the 2017 close of the season concert) are folks that actually recorded with John Williams. To actually have people who have made music with Williams makes this a very special event for Juneau.”

Some of the specific songs Quinn said they are preparing to perform will be from the original Star Wars movies such as songs that are easily recognizable like “The Imperial March” and the music that plays during the End Title scenes.

“Those are (songs) I grew up with,” Quinn said. “It’s this music that got me into orchestra and conducting, it’s a gateway into classical music.”

Haywood agrees by saying that this widely recognized classical music, “opens the door to encourage those in the community who normally wouldn’t go to see a classical concert to feel more open to attending.”

Also there will be music from the most recent Star Wars film “The Force Awakens,” “The Raiders March” from “Indiana Jones,” music from Home Alone, and also “Hook” and “E.T.” will make a melodic appearance.

Quinn admits that he’s “partial to the original Star Wars.” Subsequently there will also be a tribute song to the late Carrie Fisher. “We’re playing princess Leia’s theme. It’s a wonderful, wonderful melody.”

The group of musicians rehearses for two weeks prior to the concert.

“We’re lucky to have the people we have here,” he said.

However, because some of the musicians are from out of town they don’t show up to practice until the week before they perform. For this last concert of the season Quinn says that they will only have all the players together for two days before the concert on Saturday.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s one we overcome,” Quinn said. “That’s why I love (conducting). It’s a thrill to get everything done and working together in a certain amount of time.”

This Juneau Symphony’s concert “The Movie Maestro: A Tribute to John Williams” has everything it needs to give the community a giant dose of entertainment and fun. The crowd is encouraged to dress up as their favorite character from any of the films Williams has written music for. Quinn plans to dress up for this event and take full advantage of this opportunity to channel his innermost John Williams.

“There will be quite a few surprises going on,” promises Maestro Quinn. “There will also be the power and grandeur that comes along with live music. The force of 75 musicians playing is sort of a visceral experience that can be very powerful and emotional.”

There will be performances on Saturday, June 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 11 at 3 p.m. in the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. Tickets for the show can be found at both the valley and downtown Hearthside Books locations, the Juneau Arts and Culture Center or online from the Juneau Symphony website. Regular tickets are $29, $17 for students, and $24 for seniors. You can purchase a ticket at the door of the event for an extra three dollars. A Star Wars Cantina will happen on Saturday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Breakwater Inn prior to the show.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show there will be no concert conversation prior to the show.