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Back by popular demand: music of award-winning film scores

USC Symphony Orchestra presents John Williams Blockbusters! October 18

Back by popular demand, the USC Symphony Orchestra performs music from award-winning film scores by legendary American composer John Williams. Experience music from some of your favorite films like Jaws, Catch Me If You Can, Saving Private Ryan, Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Memoirs of a Geisha: The Chairman’s Waltz, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The concert takes place at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia, SC) on Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. Preceding the concert at 6:45 p.m., Maestro Portnoy presents “Illuminations,” a pre-concert talk in the large rehearsal room at the Koger.

This concert will be fun for the entire family, and concert goers, young and old, are invited to come dressed in costume as your favorite film hero. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes.

Composer John Williams, described by Steven Spielberg as "a great talent" and his "most important collaborator," is the winner of this year's American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award. Williams' illustrious career boasts a record-setting 50 Academy Award nominations and five Oscars. Jaws, with its famous two-note "shark" theme emerging as a classic piece of suspense music, marked Williams' first win for an original dramatic score.

Clifford Leaman, professor of saxophone at USC, joins the orchestra on “Escapades” for alto saxophone and orchestra from Catch Me If You Can. Leaman is in great demand as a soloist and clinician and has performed and taught worldwide. Critics have hailed him “an artist of the first order…intuitive, exciting, and enthralling."

This USC Symphony Orchestra season celebrates Maestro Donald Portnoy’s 31 years leading Carolina’s premier orchestra. His music leadership has drawn out the very best in thousands of young musicians. The Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts steps down as director of the USC Symphony Orchestra after the 2016-2017 academic year.

Concert tickets 

$30 general public; Discounts: $25 seniors, USC faculty and staff; $8 students.
Call 803-251-2222 or Koger Box Office, corner of Greene and Park Streets (M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or online at

Up next

Hanson and Shostakovich
Tue., Nov. 15, 2016
Sandy Cameron, violin
Declared “brilliant” by the Washington Post and “a shameless showstopper” by the New York Times, virtuoso violinist Sandy Cameron joins the orchestra on Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto in A minor. Broadway World declared “Sandy Cameron was a real showstopper…dancing, bobbing, prowling, weaving, and playing up a storm…”
Howard Hanson (1896-1981)- Symphony No. 1 in E minor, op. 21 (Nordic)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) - Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 77

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