Last performance today, October 15th, at 2:30 p.m. The concert has it’s final performance this afternoon on the eve of Disney’s centenary date, October 16.
By YVONNE HUDSON
Casting a spell for conjuring memories, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has partnered with the Disney Corporation to present a Pops concert guaranteed to warm hearts with music that is indeed unforgettable. As Disney marks its 100th anniversary on Monday, October 16, the PSO presented a Pops weekend for the books with essentially the music of our lives.
A singular production in collaboration with Disney, the two-hour concert pairs a customized live score performed by the full PSO under a giant screen. Featured were short and long clips of some artistic milestones in animation and vocal performances.
As conductor Moon Doh explained, a program playlist was intentionally not provided to enhance the experience and provide many surprises.
This concert was guaranteed to please anyone touched by Disney, even briefly, and all of those lifelong Disney fans who intimately know the repertoire and films.
For this writer, the concert pushed all the memory and musical buttons. Personally, my first movie memories were made watching matinees of Disney classics on the big screen—Pinocchio (I always tear up at the first notes of When You Wish Upon a Star), 101 Dalmatians (I had scary dognapper dreams), and The Sword in the Stone (introducing me to Arthurian legend).
With my youngest sister Joyce, we were perhaps the target demographic for this lovely event. We recognized all but a few moments of clips and reveled in a wide range of favorites across the decade, many with full numbers. Alice travels down the rabbit hole to the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Ariel shows off her neat stuff under the sea, Moana sails toward her dreams, and the sun rises on The Lion King’s savannah. In between, the overwhelming wealth of Disney moments is underscored by the amazing musicians of the PSO, including a litany of Disney princesses and timeless villains.
The reality that Disney stars are singing on the soundtracks and accompanied by the live orchestra is both moving and precious. Some of the vocalists featured were Jerry Orbach, Jody Benson, Idina Menzel, Auli’I Cravalho, and Phil Harris.
Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney himself led the celebration via video and delightful glimpses of the animation process, storyboards, and detailed concept illustrations of scenes and characters. While capturing a century of Disney animation, imagination, and musical artistry in two hours would not be possible, the PSO brilliantly brings the magic of Disney scores to life.
Other future films at Heinz Hall with live PSO scoring include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Superman, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire—all equally memorable experiences and a wonderful way to introduce young people to the magic of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
TICKETS AND DETAILS
Tickets at https://pittsburghsymphony.org.