Between a the Theme song from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, presentation of and the Raiders March from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, MPO Music Director Sabatino Vacca led a surprisingly intimate and humourous question and answer period with an audience of almost 500 attendees. One guest queried which instrument Vacca felt was the most integral within an orchestra. Before he could respond, a musician on stage raised his trombone up high in answer, followed quickly by laughter and a succession of musicians raising their own instruments. After a poll of the many children in attendance, a youth near the front asked how one might join the Milton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Music Director encouraged him warmly to audition for the group.
The May 4th date was serendipitous for the group in 2019, who have traditionally performed on the first Saturday in May. The show opened with a rousing rendition of the Main Theme from Star Wars Suite, but the programme included a thoughtfully selected collection of pieces written by composer John Williams. Williams may be best known for his work with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg – including scores created for Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., and Jurassic Park. Other highlighted music at the MPO May the 4th Be With You evening included Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Concert Suite, the Superman Theme, and the Theme from Schindler’s List.
President and MPO Co-Founder Jenn Callum is proud of what the organization has achieved since its inception in 2014. The group maintains a roster of 30-35 talented musicians, a large majority of whom reside in Milton. With the last show of the season almost sold out, Callum is hopeful that the Orchestra will continue to receive heightened recognition and engagement from the community at large.
The May 4th performance certainly garnered a new demographic as many parents felt encouraged to bring their entire family. Lauren Ives and father Bill Ferrier brought Lauren’s teenage son Parker Ives to his first MPO show, and Tracy Craig was present with her two sons Nathan and Gavin. She says, “I know my sons have an interest in Star Wars and we’ve never done a show at the Theater all together before – I wanted to introduce them.” Although all of these boys came in regular attire, some guests wore their favourite Star Wars shirt or costume. This passion was mirrored by the Music Director, who entered stage right wearing a Darth Vader mask and wielding a light saber. A number of the female musicians also wore side buns in homage to Princess Leia.