WEEKEND: Symphony to fill air with cinema gems

PORT ANGELES — Music from the big screen — brought to life by a big orchestra — will fill the hall this Saturday night as the Port Angeles Symphony plunges into the second concert of its new season.

And alongside suites from the classic Western “Shane,” from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca,” and the “Colonel Bogey March” from “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” there’s a bonus track: George Gershwin’s Concerto in F played by Irish-born pianist Peter Mack.

The Gershwin work “is so much fun to play with the orchestra,” Mack said. The concerto, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in December 1925, travels from “amazing majesty to incredible fun.”

Twice as nice

Mack, a concert pianist who teaches at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, will play twice this Saturday: at the symphony’s 10 a.m. dress rehearsal and at the 7:30 p.m. concert. Music director Adam Stern will lead both performances in the Port Angeles High School Auditorium, 304 E. Park Ave.

This will be music to feed mind and heart, Mack believes. Gershwin’s work “is so enjoyable, people forget the fact it’s also intellectually satisfying,” he said.

Mack also looks forward to the suite from “Rebecca,” which German composer Franz Waxman created for Hitchcock’s 1940 film. It is “lush, scary, sensual,” he said, and perfect for Halloween week.

The pianist is a fan of Stern’s, having worked with him on other occasions.

“I don’t know quite how he does it,” Mack said of Stern, who is a conductor as well as a fellow pianist.

“He is an entertainer and a top-class musician,” Mack added.

“He combines serious music with being fun and supportive [of the musicians]. He gets stuff done … and he has the orchestra laughing,” before they realize they’ve covered a lot of territory.

Stretching their chops

In Saturday’s concerts, the 60-member Port Angeles Symphony will have the opportunity to stretch out on Kenneth Alford’s “Col. Bogey,” the highly recognizable march from 1957’s “Kwai.”

Then there’s the suite from 1953’s “Shane,” by Victor Young. Stern calls him a “wondrous musician,” and notes that Young is also the composer of other well-known works including the song “When I Fall in Love.”

Stern will give a short talk on the music and its makers at 6:40 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium; it’s included in the price of admission to the evening concert. Tickets range from $12 to $15 for general seating to $20 and $30 for reserved seats.

For the 10 a.m. rehearsal, tickets are $5 per person or $10 per family.

Ticket outlets are in Port Angeles and Sequim, though there will be no Sequim bus service to this concert.

To buy general admission tickets, visit Port Book and News, 104 E. First St.; the Port Angeles Symphony office at 216-C N. Laurel St.; Sequim Village Glass at 761 Carlsborg Road; or The Good Book/Joyful Noise Music Center at 108 W. Washington St. in Sequim. To purchase reserved seats, go to www.PortAngelesSymphony.org or phone the symphony office at 360-457-5579. Tickets will also be available at the door Saturday for the morning and evening concerts.

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