College’s orchestra performs scores from classic films

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Queens College’s orchestra performed musical scores from hit films like “Jaws” and “Star Wars” at LeFrak Concert Hall on Dec. 9 and 11.

Titled “Music from the Movies: Star Wars to Harry Potter,” the performance played themes for a sold-out audience on both days.

Jonathan Archer, 23, a sophomore, played the violin in the orchestra and said there was a lot of effort in rehearsing for the event.

“We rehearsed for three hours a day, two days a week over three weeks. I found it fun and different to do something outside of the classical repertoire,” Archer said.

Some orchestra musicians were spotted in costume as witches, Storm Troopers or Yoda.

Three conductors—Tong Cheng, Nisan Ak and Audrey Edelstein—led the orchestra.

Cheng, an associate conductor with experience overseeing the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted all “Star Wars” theme songs.

Ak, 24, conducted scores from “Jurassic Park” and “Harry Potter.” She noted the time needed to learn the scores well.

“For each movement, you need at least one hour of practice,” Ak said. “In all, I practiced the technique, playing the piano and scoring for two hours everyday.”

Ak is pursuing her Masters in Orchestral Conducting at the Aaron Copland School of Music. In fact, Maurice Peress, the college’s head of conducting, invited her to pursue her Masters at QC after she studied in Turkey.

Edelstein, 22, began conducting when she was 15 years old. For the two nights, she led the orchestra with scores from “E.T.” and “Superman.”

“Before the school year starts, the director of the orchestra plans out the entire orchestral season. We’ve known we were doing this music since before August,” Edelstein said.

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