Community Collaboration in Harmony

By UM News

Community Collaboration in Harmony

By UM News
Adrienne Arsht Center and Frost School of Music collaborate on a concert series that brings movie music to the community.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the University of Miami Frost School of Music have forged a new community collaboration to showcase exciting music from iconic motion pictures, in a “live-to-picture format” performed by the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

The inaugural concert, From The Dark Knight to The Hunger Games—The Movie Music of James Newton Howard, will be presented on Friday, February 19 in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall at the Arsht Center. James Newton Howard, who began his term as the new artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute in January, will conduct. It is his first appearance with the orchestra since the institute moved to Miami in 2008. In addition, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan will make a guest appearance at the concert, in conjunction with music to The Sixth Sense, composed by Howard.  The dean of the Frost School of Music, pianist Shelly Berg, also will make a cameo appearance.

Howard is a Grammy-winning and eight-time Oscar-nominated composer whose music resonates with young moviegoers. The new movie music concert series aims to introduce younger audience members to orchestral music in an exciting new format with scene excerpts from iconic movies such as The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight, Snow White and the Huntsman, King Kong, Water for Elephants, and Pretty Woman, shown on a large screen while the music is performed live by a vibrant, youthful orchestra. 

The average age of students performing in the Henry Mancini Institute is 24.

“Most of our orchestra members grew up with these movies, and love the music,” said Berg. “They are eager to perform it, especially with the composer on the podium. The opportunity to learn first hand from a film composer about the recording process, and the protocol in the studio, will be invaluable. For this concert, James also plans to debut several medleys of themes presented in new suites, which will also be an amazing experience for the performers, and the community.”

Liz Wallace, vice president of programming at the Arsht Center, said it’s the center’s mission “to present innovative programming that is unique to attract new audiences and to keep our loyal arts patrons interested, entertained, and excited. Concerts such as The Movie Music of James Newton Howard allow audiences to experience something they already love in a brand new way. It is an opportunity for film buffs, symphony lovers. and fans of all ages to reconnect with their favorite movies and listen to stirring scores of music in a natural setting such as the acoustically superb Knight Concert Hall.”

“The pairing of music with motion pictures is powerful, emotional and memorable,” Howard said. “I’m looking forward to sharing a retrospective of some of my most popular film scores with the community, and helping to create a new audience for live music through my life’s work. I hope this community collaboration with the Arsht Center and the Henry Mancini Institute will inspire a new generation of concert goers to discover live orchestral music, perhaps for some for the very first time. I’m looking forward to experiencing this new live-to-picture format myself. My goal is to impart the same excitement I feel when I hear and see my music synced with the film footage for the very first time. It is indescribable.”

The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra is highly popular throughout South Florida for its outstanding musicianship and genre-blending focus. It is the resident orchestra of the highly popular Jazz Roots series at the Adrienne Arsht Center, founded by producer Larry Rosen, and also has appeared several times at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando and at the Boca Festival of the Arts at the Mizner Park Ampitheater. It has appeared on several PBS television specials including the acclaimed Jazz and the Philharmonic concert, produced in conjunction with the National YoungArts Foundation, Frost School of Music, Larry Rosen Productions, and the Arsht Center. 

The Arsht Center is currently celebrating its momentous 10th anniversary season. Spotlighting legends and serving as a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage, the Arsht Center presents nearly 500 events each year across its eight flexible, state-of-the-art performance spaces. The center programs 12 signature series, including the largest jazz series in South Florida, the biggest flamenco festival on the East Coast, and a robust program of new theatrical works as well as free programming for the community and an arts education program that serves nearly 30,000 children each year.

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is one of the largest, most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education. With over 700 students and 100 faculty it a top choice for instrumental, keyboard, contemporary, jazz, and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, and more. The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings.