Monday, April 13, 2015
AT THE MOVIES
With Chimo, I attended this past Saturday night the Pops Series performance by the South Carolina Philharmonic at the Harbison Theater at Midlands Technical College (Irmo Campus). Quite a different experience than going to the Koger Center, though those performances are great too. The venue is cozy, seating maybe five hundred or so, and you are only a few feet from the action. The philharmonic may have been a bit pared down, I think, which would make sense since the stage is smaller, but the sound was robust and immediate. It was fun to actually be able to see the performers manipulate their instruments, see their faces as they played, watch them chat to each other, even many of their individual reactions. The crowd is much older overall, and they seemed very appreciative and engaged with the performers. They chatted with each other, traded gossip and tidbits on some of the musicians. Those sitting around me were like boosters for the programs. Many, apparently, attended nearly every show. Director Morihiko Nakahara was animated and funny, and clearly well liked by the crowd. I really enjoyed him. The music came from the movies, such as E.T., Chariots of Fire, the Bond movies, Titanic, and blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, as well as an encore from Raiders of the Lost Ark. And they played one of my favorite tunes, "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (I have always loved Andy Williams' rendition). It has been a while since being able to see this group; for three years I went to a lot of performances when I knew one of the cellists and attended with her mother. They say these shows often sell out quickly, but I hope I can get to a few in the future, maybe a play or other event.