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FSU Music in the News

Silent Cinema Returns

The College of Music, in partnership with the Challenger Learning Center, is pleased to present “Silent Cinema and Live Orchestra,” a live screening of Charlie Chaplin’s silent film, The Kid, featuring a film score written by Daniel Wakefield and performed live by the University Philharmonia. This unique multi-media performance will take place in Opperman Music Hall on September 29.

A modern musical take on the 1921 Chaplin film, Wakefield’s composition also incorporates elements of film score compositions from the 20th century. The score lasts throughout the duration of the film, tasking the orchestra with playing more than 52 minutes of non-stop music. The 25-piece orchestra for this performance includes strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and piano, with particularly interesting parts for solo violin, piano, and percussion.

Originally intended for performance at the Challenger Learning Center in downtown Tallahassee, the event was moved to Opperman Music Hall to accommodate the orchestra’s size. In this setting the musicians will perform on stage, directly below the film as it is projected, providing an interactive experience for both the orchestra and the audience.

Concertmaster Mari Stanton is especially excited about this unique performance opportunity. “We’ve had the opportunity to play a style of repertoire that we do not often play — the experience of putting the music together with a silent movie, working with the composer, and exploring this style of music has taught us a lot about playing along with film, and we’ve had a great time working on this,” said Mari. “The orchestra has been working diligently to prepare for this concert, and we are so excited to present Wakefield’s score to this film with the composer himself in the audience.”

This project was brought to life through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Alexander Jiménez, Director of Orchestral Activities at FSU, Alan Hanstein, Executive Director of the Challenger Learning, and Will Whitehead, Associate Conductor of the University Philharmonia and doctoral candidate and graduate assistant in orchestral conducting.

Hanstein proposed this project to Jiménez during the spring semester, and over the course of the summer, said Jiménez, everything just seemed to fall into place.

“Reaching out to the community is at the core of who we are as a College,” said Jiménez. “This is what we’re all about. Incredible opportunities and agency to pursue those opportunities.”

“Silent Cinema and Live Orchestra” will begin at 7:15 p.m. on September 29 in Opperman Music Hall. (Please note that the start time is earlier than most College of Music evening performances.) Tickets must be purchased in advance through the Challenger Learning Center website: University and high school student tickets are free with ID starting at 7:05 p.m. as space is available.

A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Studio Orchestra at FSU.

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