[Voice Magazine] Fantasia to share the stage with the Santa Barbara Symphony
By Tim Dougherty, Community Contributor
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Having captured the imagination of generations, Walt Disney's animated Fantasia will morph into a musical masterpiece at Santa Barbara Symphony concerts on January 28th and 29th.
Under the baton of guest conductor David Lockington, the Symphony will provide stirring orchestral accompaniment to screened excerpts from the beloved films, along with Hindemith's richly colorful Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber and Lockington's own Ceremonial Fantasy Fanfare.
The performances and screenings will take place at 8pm on Saturday and at 3pm on Sunday at the Granada Theatre on their state-of-the-art high-definition screen.
"Our first concerts of 2017 promise an abundance of visual and musical delights for audiences of all ages," related Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin. "We are especially pleased to present scenes from Disney's iconic Fantasia films in high definition, and wish to thank Sarah and Roger Chrisman for generously funding the Granada Theatre's state-of-the-art digital projection system."
High-definition footage from both the original Fantasia (1940) and Fantasia 2000 will be shown. Accompanying reperotire will incldue Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite, Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (with Donald Duck), and Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice (starring Mickey Mouse).
"What is special [conducting a multimedia symphonic performance] is that the music generally has more prominence than the movie and so it is emotionally more powerful," Lockington explained via email. "The challenge for the conductor is making sure the music matches the action exactly!"
A native of Great Britain, Lockington serves as Music Director of the Modesto and Pasadena symphonies, and previously served in the same capacity with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and the Long Island Philharmonic.
He remembers seeing parts of Disney's Fantasia when he was growing up, and related, "I was struck by how imaginative the scenarios where. I love the constant humor which is often in juxtaposition to the seriousness of much of the music."
Lockington's guest conducting engagements have incldued appearances with the Saint Louis, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Oregon, Baltimore, and Phoenix symphonies; the Rochester and Louisiana philharmonics; and the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall. Internationally, Maestro Lockington has conducted the Nothern Sinfonia in Great Britain, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, and the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. He served as assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra for three years before turning to conducting.
Lockington's Ceremonial Fantasy Fanfare was created to engage the Grand Rapids community during The ArtPrize festival. "The ArtPrize festival was new in Grand Rapids and I wanted to write something the symphony would play to mark the announcement of the finalists for the competition. I think there were ten and images of the paintings were shown with the music played live. At the same time we coordinated downtown churches to ring their bells when the chimes were played at the endof the piece. In that way we were able to caputre a lot of public attention to celebrate this special moment in what has now become a leading art festival."
The Santa Barbara Symphony will next present the West Coast premiere of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff's Clarinet Concerto as well as Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3 on Feb. 11th and 12th.
January concerts were generously sponsored by Sarah and Roger Chrisman, The Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation, and the Lampson Team at On Q Financial.