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Henry Buck

Star Wars in UMass Pops Concert

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I was going to hijack Chuck's Bob Jones University thread, but I'll post a new one.

Despite the inauspicious subtitle, this is really cool. A grad student here (University of Massachusetts Amherst), using the written scores*, has arranged some Star Wars music for the end of the year "Pops" fundraiser the music department does; i.e. we charge exorbitant prices for a night of big dumb pieces of music that people like. (You know, like the Boston Pops.) It's being done with the University Orchestra and Chorale, so it's every bit as grand in scope as the original LSO/Voices performances, except there's regrettably no harp. I'm singing bass in Chorale. It is just so damn fun to be one of the voices in "Duel of the Fates," among other things. Here's the breakdown, if you're interested:

"Main Title"

- begins the end credits as in the "Main Theme" concert piece, but the conclusion is the low key TPM version, which leads right to:

"Duel of the Fates" (a little abridged)

"Across the Stars"

- ends after the first big refrain on a C major chord, borrowing the RotS transition from Leia's theme into...

"Battle of the Heroes" (also a little abridged)

- again, the RotS transition from "Battle of the Heroes" into...

"Throne Room / End Title" (Leia's theme removed)

The choir "oohs" and "ahhs" along in "Throne Room / End Title"! (Mostly on the Elgar styled theme.) There's obviously no improving on Williams' original composition, but throwing the choir in gives this piece an extra epic punch. Also, in reading "Battle of the Heroes" I made a few discoveries. The Imperial March is unmistakably referenced in the bass near the beginning. (D___ Bb-F D___.) 1:06 on the CD. Also, it's been pointed out that the section at 1:22 bears a resemblance to "Duel of the Fates." Well, yes, it really does, because the choir sings "Rah-tah-mah!" 1:26 on the CD. It's a miniscule touch that next to nobody would notice, especially in the context of the film, but I really like it.

Anyway, just felt like sharing. It's only a college orchestra and chorus but there's some major talent, and the conductor is so very spirited. He tops Lockhart, that's for sure! If you want to hear a recording of the concert... you are welcome to travel to Amherst and borrow a CD from the music library archive and listen to it for a period of two hours... there is no other possible option. Ahem.

* I'm assuming they're the Hal Leonard editions or whatever, so no, I don't have info on the complete score to TPM or anything.

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Also, in reading "Battle of the Heroes" I made a few discoveries. The Imperial March is unmistakably referenced in the bass near the beginning. (D___ Bb-F D___.) 1:06 on the CD. Also, it's been pointed out that the section at 1:22 bears a resemblance to "Duel of the Fates." Well, yes, it really does, because the choir sings "Rah-tah-mah!" 1:26 on the CD. It's a miniscule touch that next to nobody would notice, especially in the context of the film, but I really like it.

I never knew about those, very cool.

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Yes, very cool. Even though my singing usually ends up in a hospital trip for somebody I'd really enjoy performing SW in a group like that. The next time I travel up to Amherst I'll make sure to give it a listen. ;)

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I'm singing bass in Chorale. It is just so damn fun to be one of the voices in "Duel of the Fates," among other things.

Awesome. Congrats.

The next time I travel up to Amherst I'll make sure to give it a listen. ;)

That much is certain. ;)

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