What Does Boise Philharmonic Have to do With Darth Vader? 

Few people have contributed to cultural phenomenon in the way that American composer John Williams has. From the moment the trumpets begin to blare, the theme to Star Wars resonates with the legions of fans who, more than 30 years later, are still as attached to the film as they are to their Boba Fett action figures.

Though he may be best known for Star Wars, Williams is also responsible for the epic music of E.T., Harry Potter, The Terminal, Amistad, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, all of which you can hear excerpts of live on Friday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 23, as Boise Philharmonic presents the highly anticipated "John Williams Pops: A Night at the Movies." The concert will feature choral guests and a number of Star Wars songs including, of course, the main theme as well as "Princess Leia's Theme" and "Yoda's Theme," "Battle of the Heroes" from Revenge of the Sith, and "Flag Parade," "Anakin's Theme" and "Duel of the Fates" from Phantom Menace.

Boise Phil Music Director Robert Franz is an animated performer himself, exuding passion for his profession with each stroke of his baton. Last season, for the orchestra's collaboration with Opera Idaho, Franz included a narrator during the performance to help the audience better understand the narrative of the very complicated Candide. However, Franz also participated from his dais, his facial expressions and interjections contributing to what was a very funny show. He said he plans to participate in a similar way by dressing in costume and encourages audience members to do the same during the Family Series concert on Saturday morning.

If you're not familiar with the philharmonic's schedule, on performance weekends, they have a concert on Friday nights in Nampa at the Swayne Auditorium, Saturday nights at the Morrison Center and a special Family Series concert on Saturday mornings. While these are shorter performances, you are by no means short-changed, except in price: adult tickets are only $15, kid tickets are only $10 and a family of six can get in for only $60. Plus, at least this weekend, you'll get to see the usually tuxedoed Franz dressed as a Star Wars character. He wouldn't reveal which one, but here's one clue: It's one of the smart ones. So strap on your Princess Leia hair buns or Darth Vader mask and may the phil be with you.

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