Written by Trinity Grewell
On Friday, November 30th, I attended Orchestra Hall in Downtown Minneapolis with my mom, Kathy Petersen, and my younger brother to see the Disney Pixar film Up, with the music being performed live by the Minnesota Orchestra. (If you have not seen Up already, I highly recommend it, but do not forget to bring a box of tissues because, at times, it can be a real tear-jerker!). The conductor was Sarah Hicks, a renowned American conductor who grew up playing viola and piano and later in her life founded the Hawaii Summer Symphony.
To start off, they played the opening credits that everyone knows so well; you know, where the Disney castle is being shown with all the fireworks and the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” is being played gently in the background… hearing that will always make me want to remain a kid forever. Anyway, the orchestra performed it so well, I almost started crying and the movie had not even started yet. It was so perfect that I felt like I was in Disney World itself.
Next, I’d like to discuss the performance of Sarah Hicks. I say performance because one of the many things I pay attention to during a recital or concert is the body language of the conductor. I find that many times they incorporate (intentionally or unintentionally) a sort of dance to help emphasize their mode of conducting, which I think is absolutely incredible. Most of the musical score for Up is cheery and exciting. Seeing the intense waving of arms and the bouncing-yet-gentle swaying must have really helped the musicians understand the mood of the movement. I could really feel the emotion from the orchestra which really enhanced my experience of watching a movie I had seen many times before. When I saw Up in Orchestra Hall, I cried more than any other time I had seen that movie.
Another thing I’d like to mention is how much I learned. Before this experience, I had never heard a celesta, nor had I known what it even was. Turns out it is an instrument similar to a piano, but it produces an ethereal (to quote Google), bell-like sound. I really enjoyed hearing it and I thought it sounded very friendly and, at times, magical.
This experience taught me to take time to notice and appreciate the work of composers and orchestral performers. They work really hard to accurately display the emotion of the music they play, and they also take time to perform it for us, the audience. Experience rating: 10/10 <3