This Friday, over 1,000 wannabe wizards flocked to the Broome County Forum Theatre in Downtown Binghamton for a night of music and wonder.
The Binghamton Philharmonic cast a spell over the crowd with a show full of musical film favorites, titled “The Magical Music of Harry Potter.”
Joshua Sedelmeyer, the evening’s host and narrator, entertained guests with readings from the books while introducing the different songs.
“I grew up on Harry Potter — I went to all the midnight releases,” said Sedelmeyer, a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw.
Conductor Ron Spigelman, sporting the scarlet-and-gold scarf of Gryffindor, transported the audience back to the wizarding world with a swish and flick of his magic wand, aka his baton.
The show did not feature music from all eight films; it instead focused on the first four. The first half of the show featured pieces by U.S. composer John Williams, who wrote the music for the first three Harry Potter films, as well as the “Jaws” and “Star Wars” series. He is the creator of the piece “Hedwig’s Theme,” one of the most famous parts of the score from the earlier movies in the series.
In the third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” the song “Double Trouble” is performed by the frog choir at the Hogwarts welcoming feast. In Friday’s concert, it was performed by the Maine-Endwell Spartan Wizarding Chorus, directed by Ernest Backus, a vocal music teacher at Maine-Endwell Middle School, as the only choral piece of the show.
The fourth film, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” changed from the music of John Williams to Scottish composer Patrick Doyle. Doyle has such films as “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Thor” under his belt.
Nicholas Hooper, a composer from the U.K., wrote the music of the next two films, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” and French composer Alexandre Desplat took on the two-part “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
At the end of the show, before the Binghamton Philharmonic played their last piece, Sedelmeyer asked the audience to lift the spirits of the performers, who had been playing for about 90 minutes, with a chanting of the levitation charm “Wingardium Leviosa” from the movies.
Following the enthusiastic standing ovation, Spigelman surprised the crowd with one more piece to end the magical night: “The Knight Bus” from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
Jason Ephraim, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, said he was enchanted.
“This was my first time seeing the philharmonic and the show was great, especially for only $10,” he said. “It was well worth the price.”
Brittany Hall, the executive director of the Binghamton Philharmonic, was pleased with the turnout and reaction from the audience.
“The Binghamton Philharmonic strives to reach every resident in our community,” she said. “Friday’s performance of ‘The Magical Music of Harry Potter’ did just that. We were thrilled to see so many faces ranging from ages two to 82 enjoying the magic of music with the philharmonic.”