Maestro Brings Movie Favorites to Star-Spangled Spectacular

[photo:© Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra]
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When Loras John Schissel stands before the Cleveland Orchestra for the 2017 Star-Spangled Spectacular in downtown Cleveland Friday night, his will conduct some of his favorite film scores. 

Schissel plans the overture to The Magnificent 7 by American composer Elmer Bernstein, a student of the legendary Aaron Copland, for early in the evening.

"Looking to find his place in the world, where he was going to go, what he was going to do for a living and all that, he asked Copland: 'What should I do?'  Aaron told him, 'You write really fast, you should go to Hollywood," Schissel explains.

Also on the program are a few pieces from the score to the beloved Harry Potter films by composer John Williams.

"[Williams] was so excited to see young people, especially the little, young people so excited and waiting for a book to come and reading a book, and the love of books," Schissel said.

A true patriot, Schissel is a big fan of the 4th of July as a holiday.  However he must make one minor point when it comes to the name of the holiday.

"Now wait a minute, the 4th of July is just a date.  I come out for the Independence Day celebrations.  You don't say, 'Happy June 2nd!' to someone, you say 'Happy Birthday.'  So in a sense it's all of our birthdays," Schissel points out.

Northeast Ohio has become a second home for the Iowa native, having conducted the orchestra's annual downtown concert off and on since 2009 and the orchestra's annual Independence Day concerts at Blossom Music Center since 1998.

"I'm very flattered and so pleased that I'm asked to do this.  Cleveland has become, after coming so many years now, it's like a second home for me and I feel very at home there," Schissel said.

The Cleveland Orchestra's Star-Spangled Spectacular takes place Friday night at 9 p.m. on Mall B.  The free concert will also be simulcast live starting at 9:05pm on 90.3 FM WCPN and 104.9 FM WCLV ideastream.




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