Des Moines Symphony Orchestra Making Magic with ‘Harry Potter’ Music

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra is bringing the magic of Harry Potter to the Des Moines Civic Center.

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series is a concert tour that travels around the country to celebrate the famous wizard.

The orchestra is playing the music live, while people watch the movie on a 40 foot screen.

Harry Potter Live to Film Concert Series Conductor John Beal said the process was developed in the 1940’s.

“I look at a small screen and I see a streamer go across the screen, which gives me major cue points and then I get flashes on the screen to keep me kind of in sync to make sure we are at the right tempos,” Beal said.

The orchestra performs the music from the franchise’s second film “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

Beal said this is a great way to introduce people to a symphony orchestra.

“This is the most wonderful way for people to get introduce to the symphony orchestra. A lot of cases people have never heard of an orchestra. They’ll come up with us after the show and say this is amazing, I had no idea that I was listening to an orchestra when I watched the movie,” Beal said.

The Des Moines Symphony only has two practices before the first show Friday night to perfect the music.

Beal said there is about 85 musicians for the performances. The performance is like watching the movie in the comfort of your living room, but with a live orchestra.

“To see something you are interested in visually and then to see 85-90 musicians playing at a level that you wouldn’t normally hear because we are not buried by sound effects and dialogue. We are sharing the space and you get to see what an interval part of the film itself that the music was,” Beal said.

Shows for the performance are listed below:

  • Friday January 25- 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday January 26 – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday January 26 – 7:30 p.m.

For more information about purchasing tickets, click here.


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