GR Symphony’s Performance of Disney’s Fantasia will Soar

Story Kirsten Fedorowicz, The Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Symphony 

If you want to watch to Disney in style, there’s only one real way to do it, but you might have to leave the pajamas at home. The Grand Rapids Symphony is a master at bringing pop culture to the stage in elegance, previously performing to the soundtrack of Lord of the Rings, as well as many other movies.

Several times throughout the season, DeVos Performance Hall and GR Symphony pair together to project movies on a large projection and play live the soundtrack of these cinematic epics. Disney’s Fantasia, both the 1940 version and the more familiar 2000 edition, is to be brought to life for audiences.

Fantasia has many classical pieces in it, from Beethoven to the familiar graduation march of “Pomp and Circumstance.” Fantasia includes Stravinsky’s “Firebird” and Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.” These classics will be soaring to amazing heights when played by the hand of the talented string orchestra. These classic pieces are a wonderful part of Fantasia, but it is the animation that evokes childhood nostalgia. Samara Napolitan, the Public Representative for the show expressed her excitement.

“Walt Disney’s original vision in creating Fantasia (1940) was to introduce classical music to generations to come through innovative animation,” said Napolitan. “That vision still holds true today when our talented orchestra will perform the music to animated selections from Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.”

While the orchestra uses their immense talents, the projection screen will show the classic Mickey Mouse in attempting magic in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and Donald Duck as Noah of the Ark fame saving the animals to “Pomp and Circumstance”. The animation coupled with the orchestra gives the show a surround sound sort of experience that is unattainable anywhere else.

If the names of big composers like Beethoven and Stravinsky worried you, there’s no need. Napolitan can sooth those concerns.
“This concert is a fun and casual introduction to the genre and the arts in our West Michigan community,” she said.

Dressing up for the show is not needed, nor is any knowledge of classical music.  As a pop culture show, Fantasia caters to all sorts of people, in all sorts of attire. If you enjoy Disney, or even if you don’t, this live show promises to be an experience unlike anything you’ve seen before.

The show is on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 at 8:00 p.m. If you can hit an earlier timed show, there is also Sunday, November 15 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are only five dollars if you show up a little early and show off your Aquinas College ID to the student table and sign up for their Student Passport to see upcoming shows.

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