The lights fade and the curtains open on the giant silver screen. The movie begins with the familiar lines – “A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …” The words fade off into the distance as the persistent rumble of the giant ship increases until it envelopes all sense of being. And then we hear it, the first few notes that make the movie “Star Wars” memorable.
Sometimes, soundtracks are what turn good movies into all-time classics.
Who could forget the sinister, low-toned string section that personified the largely unseen shark in “Jaws”?
Who could forget the gently flowing orchestral movement as “E.T.” phoned home?
Movie soundtracks have helped shape our very lives since the days of early childhood. And they continue to do so to this day.
If you want to hear them again, as well as many other musical movie faves, now you’ve got your chance.
The Cal Poly music department will present three different music ensembles on Saturday. Each ensemble will play various selections from well-known movie soundtracks.
Professor William Johnson will conduct the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble, which will perform Howard Shore’s theme from “The Aviator.”
The wind ensemble will also perform John Williams’ “Star Wars” theme.
Johnson said that Williams’ theme music is a prime example of how a soundtrack can survive the test of time.
“Sometimes the music that’s written for the movie becomes more popular and longer lasting than the movie itself.” Johnson said.
Johnson said that tickets are currently on sale for anyone who wants to attend the upcoming concert.
Administrative accounting assistant Roxie Schmitz said she is thrilled to already have her tickets.
Schmitz won her tickets via a drawing for full-time Associated Students Inc. employees.
Schmitz is not only a Cal Poly alumna but also a former member of the Cal Poly Wind Esemble.
Schmitz said that she knows the performance will be worth the waiting she has done since receiving her tickets.
“I’m very much looking forward to the performance and to see the caliber of talent that’s at this campus,” Schmitz said. “Those students, they’re just incredible.”
Schmitz will be attending the concert with her boyfriend, and they are both anxiously awaiting one section in particular, she said.
“We’re really looking forward to hearing the ‘Star Wars’ music,” Schmitz said. “It will be very exciting.”
Special guest composer Stephen Melillo will conduct the wind ensemble in its rendition of his own work, “Time to Back the Knights.”
Cal Poly’s University Jazz Band No.1, conducted by director of Jazz Studies Paul Rinzler, will perform tracks “Moon River” (Henry Mancini) from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Almost Cried” (Duke Ellington) from “Anatomy of a Murder.”
Finally, the Cal Poly Symphony will perform pieces from Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Vertigo,” as well as the track “Adventures on Earth” from “E.T.”
“It makes for a great concert because there is so much great music for movies,” Johnson said.
The concert will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday in Harmon Hall at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices range from $8 to $19.