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Darth Vader and 501st Legion of Storm Troopers precede Sequoia Symphony concert celebrating composer John Williams

Darth Vader and 501st Legion of Storm Troopers precede Sequoia Symphony concert celebrating composer John Williams

By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN

VISALIA – Listening to music is a different experience from hearing it as part of a film. There are no images to connect with the music. In an era of streaming video accessible at any time, we often lose the meaning of music without the context of its visual counterpart.

For example, when you hear the iconic musical theme that introduces Darth Vader in Star Wars, you know he will appear on screen at the movie theater. Conversely, when you hear the “Imperial March” theme played by the Sequoia Symphony there is no expectation that Darth Vader and a unit of storm troopers will appear on stage in the Visalia Fox Theatre.

The one exception to that rule will be this Saturday, Feb. 10.

Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers will actually precede their own theme music by attending the Red Carpet reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre prior to the Sequoia Symphony’s annual show celebrating famous movie scores. Those attending the reception can have their pictures taken with Vader and his elite unit. The reception includes wine, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and drawings. Fresno Lexus will have their latest model on display.

Those portraying the Star Wars characters are part of the Central California Garrison of the 501st Legion Star Wars group that creates their own authentic costumes and makes appearances and raises money for a variety of charities.

In Star Wars lore, codified by creator George Lucas, the 501st Legion, also known as “Vader’s Fist,” was an elite military division of the Grand Army of the Republic. The battalion served under the command of the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker throughout the Clone Wars and later marched on the Jedi Temple of Coruscant and, with the aid of Sith Lord Darth Vader, and purged the temple of Padawans and younglings in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Tickets for the Red Carpet reception are $25. Concert & reception package is $50. This year’s show is exclusively about John Williams, the most celebrated Hollywood composer in the history of film. Williams has been nominated for 51 Academy Awards (the record for Oscar nominations for a living person and second only to Walt Disney’s 59), 6 Emmy Awards, 25 Golden Globe Awards, 67 Grammy Awards, and has received 7 British Academy Film Awards. He has won four Oscars for Best Original Score and one for Best Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score (Fiddler on the Roof). In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams’s score to 1977’s Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. His scores for Jaws and E.T. appeared at No. 6 and No. 14 on the list and, along with Star Wars, won Academy Awards.

The symphony’s annual film music concert will feature some of the most well-known themes from the prolific Hollywood composer from such films as “E.T.,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Harry Potter,” Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List” and many others.

Tickets for the concert range from $22 to $45 at the symphony office, 208 W. Main Street, Suite D in Visalia, downstairs in Montgomery Square. Student prices are $10. Tickets are also available by calling 559-732-8600 or online at www.sequoiasymphonyorchestra.com.

The audience is invited to attend the pre-concert preview by guest conductor Steven Byess at 6:45 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. concert.

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