If you’re still waiting for your Hogwarts acceptance letter to come by owl, you’re not alone. In the nearly two decades since the first Harry Potter book title has been released, the series by J.K Rowling has become an international pop culture phenomenon. On October 28, 2017, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performed the score of the second Harry Potter film in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at NJPAC, right here in Newark.
The performance is part of the ongoing Harry Potter Film Concert Series™ with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO). Last spring, it performed the score to the first film in the series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, and this performance will follow in March with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The show came just in time for Halloween, with many fans, young and old, arriving to the show in costume with wands, brooms, pennants, and scarves. The immediately recognizable score was performed live with a high definition screening of the film, giving a people a full view of the orchestra and musicians directly beneath the screen. People clapped when their heroes appeared on screen and some even repeated the most iconic lines. During intermission, fans in costume enthusiastically took group photos with each other.
“The music really comes alive, and you become immersed in the full soundscape of it all,” says Kevin O’Connor, who saw the show with his mother. He became a fan after being introduced to the series in elementary school.
That lifelong love of Harry Potter and his story holds for many young adult fans today who grew up with the series. The iconic score, composed by the legendary John Williams, is arguably just as recognizable as the scar and glasses of Harry Potter himself.
Performances like these uphold the phenomenon of Harry Potter in a unique way by bringing fans together and reminding them why they fell in love with the series in the first place. The stories of Harry, Ron, and Hermione are literally magic – in reading of their stories fending off evil and darkness, we learn how to be brave, courageous, and loyal for those around us. These stories of fending off dark magic and evil show fans how to be a brave hero and loyal friend – if not a good student of wizardry.
Tickets for the next NJSO Harry Potter performance go on sale November 3. Be sure to check out the NJPAC website here for a list of all future events!