Big movies, big music and a welcome from a few "Star Wars" characters.
That's the plan for the next Modesto Symphony Orchestra program, set for Friday, May 11, at the Gallo Center for the Arts, when the group features "A Night at the Movies: Celebrating John Williams."
Guest conductor Stuart Chafetz will lead the orchestra through some of the iconic composer's most popular and recognizable musical scores, including those from Modesto native George Lucas' "Star Wars" films.
"Star Wars"-suited characters — members of the 501st Legion's Central California Garrison — will greet patrons in the lobby before the program, according to a press release from the MSO.
Among other music planned are selections from the "Superman," "Harrry Potter" and "Jaws" films, as well as excerpts from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Also on the program will be "The Cowboys Overture," "Adventures on Earth" from "E.T." and "The Flight to Neverland" from "Hook."
Themes from films including "Jaws," "Jurassic Park" and "Schindler's List" also will be performed.
"In a career that spans five decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage," the MSO release said. "Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films. His 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and successful films."
Chafetz, newly appointed principal pops conductor of the Columbus Symphony, is "celebrated for his dynamic and engaging podium presence (and) is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the continent," according to the release.