Students familiar with the childlike wonder and amazement of Disney movies were in for a treat at the Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Sunday, Oct. 22. Timothy Perry, music director and conductor of the BU Symphony Orchestra and a professor in the music department, prepared an ode to the history of Disney Motion Pictures, from “Steamboat Willie” (1928) to “Frozen” (2013) in “Dream Machine: Music of the Walt Disney Studios.”
In this performance, each piece was accompanied by a backstory and visual sequence presented above the orchestra. The performance began with “Steamboat Willie,” the first cartoon ever produced by Walt Disney. The orchestra used authentic whistles while the animation was projected onstage.
From there, it was on to “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia,” both from 1940, transitioning well with their simple juxtaposition. Next came the “Sleeping Beauty Waltz” from the classic Disney princess story “Sleeping Beauty” (1959). This was shortly followed by two songs from 1964’s “Mary Poppins,” “Feed the Birds” and “A Spoonful of Sugar.” The audience joined in, singing along with both songs.
Reaching into modernity, a quick jump was made to 1989’s “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid,” written by Alan Menken. Lastly, everyone’s favorite ice queen came to life on the stage as every violin and French horn played along to selections from “Frozen” (2013). The show was an overall dance through time and history.
“The concert was really cute,” said Luis Gonzales, a freshman majoring in psychology. “It really amazed me how college orchestras are performing Disney music, because when I think ‘college orchestra,’ I think just like Beethoven or like more adult pieces, but this was really cute.”
“I can’t really say I didn’t like the pieces,” said Anoukia Papp Nistor, an undeclared freshman and first cello in Perry’s Symphony Orchestra. “I had a lot of fun playing them. Being on the huge stage was intimidating, but once we started playing, everything fell into place.”
The orchestra’s next concert, “Venetian Traditions,” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, and will feature the University Chorus. The concert will be holiday-themed, focusing on the music of 17th-century Venice.