Star Wars music draws the whole crowd to Yakima

The soundtrack to our lives…and that’s no exaggeration.

If you like cinema, you know the work of John Williams.

And the crowd goes wild

On Tuesday evening (6/21/22) at the Capitol Theater, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, (YSO) celebrating its 50th anniversary, played a tribute to the music of John Williams and it was simply brilliant!

John Williams is a 90-year-old composer who wrote some of the best-known music in American movie history. Wikipedia says:

In a career that spans seven decades, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable and critically acclaimed songs. film music in the history of cinema. Williams won 25 Grammy AwardsSeven British Academy Film Awardfive Oscars and four Golden Globe Awards. With 52 Oscar nominations, he is the second most nominated individual, after waltz disney. His compositions are considered the epitome of film music and he is considered one of the greatest composers in the history of cinema.

A huge job

Many people know that Williams wrote the music for the movie JAWS and believe this is their first exposure to his music. But Williams has worked in film music since 1959 on 33 films before Jaws. You’ve probably seen a bunch of them. They understand:

  • Diamond Head (1963)
  • Gidget Goes to Rome (1963)
  • The Revers (1969)
  • The Cowboys (1972)
  • The Adventure of Poseidon (1972)
  • The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973)
  • Cinderella Liberty (1973)
  • The Sugarland Express (1974)
  • The Infernal Tower (1974)
  • The Eiger Sanction (1975)

We’re gonna need a bigger rewards shelf

In 1975, JAWS hit the screens and millions of us left the water! The music moved the film and the film moved the country! Williams won an Oscar for the chilling tension-filled original score.

Not lost in space

1977 was a dynamic double for Williams who wrote the music for Star Wars, another Oscar winner…

as well as the music from a hit where creatures from outer space choose to visit earth in Close Encounters of the Third Kind with a worldwide box office of nearly $341 million. How can anyone visit the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming without thinking of the music and images of Close Encounters?

Stick with a winner

When the alien thing works for you, you stick with it, and in 1982 Maestro Williams wrote the Academy Award-winning score to the ever-lovely ET.

ET came out 40 years ago and is still a family favorite, largely because of the music.

A story that needed to be told

Williams’ last Oscar win was for the score he wrote for Schindler’s List of Best Picture of 1993. It’s an incredible punch of a film with incredible music. 3 hours of overwhelming genius.

Since Schindler’s List, Williams has worked on more than 30 films, making those films even better for his musical genius. To name a few:

  • Nixson (1995)
  • Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
  • Amistad (1997)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • Angela’s Ashes (1999)
  • The Patriot (2000)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
  • War of the Worlds (2005)
  • War Horse (2011)
  • Lincoln (2012)

I will conclude this personal tribute with my favorite John Williams movie theme played so inspiringly by the Yakima Symphony Orchestra (YSO) on Tuesday night. It gives goosebumps every time.

Thanks, YSO for a great tribute night, and thanks to John Williams for the genius in creative music like the Superman theme.

CHECK IT OUT: The best movie character names from the 1980s