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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Halloween Goes Hollywood When Pacific Symphony Hosts The Despicable Villains' Choice Awards With Music From "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" And "The Nightmare Before Christmas!"

Orange County, Calif. — October 05, 2017

Can you feel it? There’s big excitement (and a little good-natured fear) in the air! It’s time to not only celebrate Halloween with Pacific Symphony in a new and spooky way, but also to attend the 13th Annual Despicable Villains’ Choice Awards! Revel in the loveable villains of the world with the most fearfully prestigious of all awards—The Golden Poison Apple. Emceed by Vex Mudlark (the evil host), Piper Parallax (Vex’s evil cohort), and Axel Frankenstein (the assistant). This unique awards show calls upon the audience to select music to be performed during the concert. Celebrate the holiday with frightfully fun film music from favorite movies such as “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”—and more. Of course, because it is a villains’ awards show, not everything is quite as it seems…

“Our concert’s storyline is centered around the 13th Annual Despicable Villains Awards,” explains Maestro Kalia. “In other words, it’s an evil and villainous version of the Oscars! Pacific Symphony will play the role of the most talented and coveted orchestra in the villain world. In addition, we will have three central characters played by actors. I’m the conductor for the ‘Villains’ Awards,’ and throughout the concert I will interact with the other characters, as well as tell the audience what to listen for in the music. I’ll also lead them in a variety of engagement activities.”

The first concert of the Family Musical Mornings season, “Halloween Goes Hollywood,” led by Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia, takes place on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Come early or stay late and join in the fun at the interactive Musical Carnival, where kids may test drive a musical instrument, meet the performers and enjoy musical arts and crafts activities themed to the morning’s concert. The Carnival begins at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers. Family Musical Mornings season-ticket packages are $60-$184; single tickets are $15-$46. For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit

And to all the little ghouls and gremlins—don’t forget to come dressed as your favorite villain! “Halloween Goes Hollywood” is written and directed by Symphony favorite Joe Lauderdale and features the return of actors Ronald Banks and James McHale, plus first-time appearances by Emily Dyck and Kristen Matson. As with any Family Musical Mornings concert, behind the music is an enthralling story and a lot of good fun!

“There’s something for everyone on this concert, and it’s a great way to introduce our audiences to some of the cornerstones of the classical music repertoire as well as some of the most famous movie music ever written,” says Kalia.

In addition to providing a high degree of enjoyment, the concert is also a learning experience for children. It focuses on both the woodwinds and brass sections as the Symphony’s “Spotlight Instruments,” and many of the selections will highlight those instruments in the orchestra. In addition, the Symphony will perform music that tells a story, or music that sounds somewhat cinematic or programmatic. This includes excerpts from Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” Tchaikovsky’s “Sixth Symphony,” Beethoven’s “Egmont Overture,” and Offenbach’s “Can-Can.” During the Stravinsky, which was originally a ballet, a professional ballet dancer performs with the orchestra.

Magical and a little creepy, the orchestra plays a central role in this Halloween extravaganza, as it opens the awards show and creates the mood of each award with musical selections. In addition to popular tunes by composers such as Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, some of today’s legendary film composers will be featured, including John Williams, Michael Giacchino, and Danny Elfman. Music from their instantly recognizable scores will haunt the audience in the very best way and send the orchestra soaring along with lovable villains. Experience all the magical effects that these composers use to transport the audience to lands of wonder and awe!

“This concert will incorporate music that is universally known,” says Kalia, “such as works from ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Star Wars’ by John Williams, as well as classical masterpieces. One of the highlights for me will be conducting excerpts from Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ with the orchestra, as well as Giacchino’s ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness,’ which is a work that will be brand new for the orchestra. I also very much enjoy the costumes that both our audience and musicians come up with in order to highlight the spirt of Halloween.”
Another piece the orchestra will perform is the “Imperial March” from “Star Wars,” which is the theme music for the film’s villain, Darth Vader. Kalia says, “Darth Vader, in my opinion, is one of the most evil villains out there, and the music is instantly recognizable to audiences everywhere. I may even conduct with a lightsaber for this one! Both ‘Harry Potter’ and Elfman’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ are connected to Halloween and feature the entire orchestra.”

The audience will be asked to vote for the piece that they believe is the most villainous and evil from a choice of three works. After the votes are tallied, the orchestra will perform the winning selection again at the end of the concert.
“It’s this idea of active participation that we are really trying to promote for this concert,” says Kalia. “My role in this concert will be primarily to engage with our wonderful audience. I’ll be introducing concepts and insights into each work that Pacific Symphony will perform in order to inspire our young listeners in the audience. There will be movement activities such as clapping, and I’ll even teach our audience how to conduct. This interplay between listening and being an active participant in the concert is what makes our Family Musical Mornings concerts so unique and enjoyable.”

Pacific Symphony’s Family Musical Mornings series is presented by Farmers and Merchants Bank.