Monday, July 1, 2013
I went to an Orlando Philharmonic rehearsal for "Symphony in HD" at Full Sail University. This is the second time the symphony has joined forces with Full Sail to stage a high tech concert. The orchestra, conducted by Music Director Christopher Wilkins, will be accompanied by animation, film, lighting effects and other visual elements created by students and faculty of Full Sail University. Jay Noble, the Event producer said, "Through this dynamic collaboration, our students and staff are challenged with creating a unique and larger than life visual environment that will become an extension of selections performed by the Philharmonic."
The concert began with a twilight set by Vilaldi's "Spring" from The Four Seasons. There was a bit of a challenge getting the cues straight to be sure the Orchestra and the effects were in sync. "The Flight of the Bumble Bee" by Rimsky-Korsakov had a film that tracked a bumble bee's flight. Singer Davis Gaines came out much later in the program to sing "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera. Davis had performed as the phantom in the Broadway production by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Davis walked around the room as he sang, interacting with people who had come to the rehearsal. He glanced at my sketch and gave me a thumbs up. I felt bad because I had squeezed him in as an after thought and it didn't look much like him.
The actual Gala concert was on Friday May 31st. Guests had drinks and hors d'oeuvres along with a silent auction on Full Sail's Hollywood style film set on the back lot facility. They then had a three course meal in Full Sail live where the concert was held. The William Tell Overture had a guest conductor, Bryce West, who had won the opportunity in an auction. He did a bang up job. Christopher Wilkins will be stepping down as the Orlando Philharmonic conductor. His contract is not being renewed in 2014.