Musically Conjuring “Harry Potter” at Segerstrom Center

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harrypotter-logoFew pieces of musical composition are as iconic as those accompanying the well-loved onscreen saga of Harry Potter.

From the first haunting notes of John Williams’ score, one knows that they are about to enter a world of pure magic, and the ensuing tunes have come to be as synonymous with spell-casting, as his other works are with a galaxy far, far away and a certain archaeologist with a penchant for saving the world.

The score captures perfectly the emotion of the story – from the childish wonder of discovering the wizarding world for the first time, to the joy of soaring on a broom, and the intensity of fighting against evil personified.

As clear as those emotions come through on screen, one can only imagine how powerful they would be when performed by a live orchestra.

Fortunately, that is a thought that will no longer be left to the imagination, as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, in


conjunction with CineConcerts and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, presents the Harry Potter Film Concert Series.

In what one can only hope will eventually bring us the music from all eight Harry Potter films, the series is currently offering we mere muggles an opportunity to be immersed in the world of Hogwarts, via a multisensory symphony experience.

While a live orchestra performs, note for note, the entire score of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the film will be simultaneously playing on a 40-foot screen, allowing attendees to relive the moments they remember from the movie that first made us love “The Boy Who Lived,” while having them brought to life in the way only live music can.

Justin Freer

Now a world-wide phenomenon, the concert was created by CineConcerts, the leader in bringing culture and pop culture together, via performances such as this live movie orchestration. Founded by Orange County native, Justin Freer, and his partner, Brady Beaubien, CineConcerts has revolutionized the live music experience, by offering concertgoers a plethora of musical presentations, all performed in conjunction with visual media, and have opened up the genre to those who may not have been otherwise inclined to enjoy a symphonic performance.

Freer, a native of Huntington Beach, is both a producer and the conductor of the Harry Potter Concert Series. He began his illustrious music career as a child, by studying the trumpet, and performing with various wind ensembles and marching bands. It wasn’t long before his attention turned to other instruments, as well as composing, and at just 11 years old, he composed his first work, written for a wind ensemble.

Since then, he has gone on to continue composing, with his work currently being played by many prestigious ensembles, including, among others, the wind band from his own alma mater, UCLA. As a conductor, he has appeared with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

And of course, he has distinguished himself as the premier name for producing film music concerts, having previously presented the soundtracks from such memorable films as “The Godfather,” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Now, he invites us to join Harry, Ron, and Hermione, along with all their Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff pals, and experience the wonder of the wizarding world. We will join Harry from the moment he first learns he is a wizard, all the way through to the moment he first consciously defeats Lord Voldemort.

While the journey is comprehensive, it will only be available for four performances. Appearing at Segerstrom Hall from November 11-13, 2016, the concert will be presented via two evening, and two matinee performances. Freer is scheduled to conduct all performances.

Tickets range in price from $49 to $99, and can be purchased at The Segerstom Center box office, or by visiting

For more information about the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, please visit

Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected].

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