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Westfield Symphony Orchestra provides music for The Community Theatre's 75th anniversary

Ellen S. Wilkowe

Sunday, February 3, 2013 • 8:17am

 

75th Celebration Concert

With Musica Morristown

David Wroe and the Westfield Symphony

"Songs from the Silver Screen"

Saturday, February 16

 8 p.m.

Lecture:  7 p.m.

 

“Gone with the Wind.” “Lawrence of Arabia.”  “Jaws.” “Star Wars.”

Such classic cinema has made an indelible mark on the movie buff’s mind as did its musical scores.

Thanks to the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, film fans can relive such musical moments and accompanying memories as New Jersey’s second largest orchestra takes the stage Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown. 

“This movie retrospective is a great success, “said David Wroe, music director of the Westfield Symphony Orchestra.  “It allows the audience to identify with the music that they most likely would have heard.”

The Mayo Performing Arts Center has adapted “Songs from the Silver Screen” as its official 75th, Anniversary concert, celebrating the rich history of The Community Theatre, where many of these moves rolled during its movie palace heyday.

The selections are organized according to cinematic genres including epics, love, science fiction, chiller thriller and the final frontier.

As if in tune with the theatre’s original opening, the concert spans seven decades starting in 1939 with the iconic theme from “Gone with the Wind.”

The Community Theatre debuted in December 1937, drawing crowds from surrounding towns who sought an upscale theatre experience,  chance to see first-run movies, and a prime opportunity to impress a date.

“It’s very meaningful to perform here because of all the work that went into the theatre to bring it back to the glory days of its past,” said Wroe. 

The Westfield Symphony Orchestra will perform as “Musica Morristown,” an umbrella brand which illustrates its regional presence, said Wroe.

“We went from a local orchestra to a regional multi-identity presence,” Wroe said.

While The Community Theatre continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra is commemorating its 30 year milestone.

Instituted in 1983 in the town of Westfield, the volunteer, freelance professional orchestra has undergone “seismic change,” that allowed the organization to branch out regionally, said Wroe.   Such change haves included the recent collaboration with the New Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey.

The approximate 50-piece orchestra may call Westfield home, but is no stranger to Morristown, Avery Fischer Hall, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

“The Mayo Center is the focal point of cultural events in the region,” he said. “It’s THE place to perform and enhances the reputation of the Westfield Symphony Orchestra.”

A native of Britain, Wroe also has quite the reputation. 

In his 15th year at the WSO, his credits include regular conductor at New York City Opera, guest conductor at New York University, L’Orchestre Nationale de Lille at the Flaneries Musicales de Reims, L’Orchestre de Basse-Normandie where he toured Northern France, Tapie Symphony Orchestra, Vorarlberg Symphany , to name just a few.

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