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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Musings From the Maestro

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, teach us something please,

Whether we be old and bald

Or young with scabby knees,

Our heads could do with filling

With some interesting stuff,

So teach us things worth knowing,

Bring back what we’ve forgot,

Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,

And learn until our brains all rot."

—J. K. Rowling

This weekend the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will bring the magic of Hogwarts to the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Art Center in an event where both young and old can fill their heads with "some interesting stuff" and "things worth knowing". This weekend’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Children’s Arts Festival hosted by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra is just in time for the newly released Harry Potter movie. Our June 13 festival will celebrate creativity, art, music and...Harry Potter, of course. Highlights from John William’s musical score to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone have provided an inspiring starting point for this year-long collaboration between the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, The Art League, Classika Theater, Videographer Brad Avery, and school-children from all over the region, Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County.

At 1 p.m. on June 13, children and their families will creatively link art and music at the five Music and Art Stations provided by The Art League. There will also be an orchestral petting zoo. It will be priceless to witness children’s sense of wonderment as they produce their own art, and their own music.

At 2 p.m., the magic will continue as the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra perfoms John William’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Chilidren’s Suite for Orchestra. Behind the orchestra, on a gigantic screen, a moving picture will soar, comprising art created throughout the year by children across the region. This Fantasia-like experience won’t have Mickey, but we will have a Harry Potter narrator, courtesy of Classika Theater. All of these children's works inspired by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will also fill the concert hall lobbies in a professionally curated exhibit. These are truly the creations of budding Picassos, Cezannes and Matisses.

For me, the most gratifying aspect of this ambitious multi-faceted event is the fact that children have been full artistic partners in creating the final artistic product, which is of a very high professional caliber indeed. This is in no small part due to the mastery of videographer Brad Avery, creator of the moving picture. He has choreographed hundreds of children’s art works to the Harry Potter musical score in a highly creative and artistic rendering.

I BELIEVE THAT children will be awed and inspired by the work of their peers when they see their artistic contributions paired with the highest professional standards of the 90-member Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. My goal as Music Director has always been to inspire people to live their lives creatively. However, when it comes to working with children, I’m the one that always ends up being inspired.

I look forward to meeting you and your family on June 13 at this wonderful celebration of creativity for the whole family. Art, Music and Harry Potter will inspire both children and adults to learn "things worth knowing, [and] to bring back what we’ve forgot."