Organist performs at Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall held its yearly silent film showing Oct. 31.

This year the film shown was “Phantom of the Opera” (1925) scored and performed on pipe organ by Clark Wilson, preferred organist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

According to Wilson’s biography on the Los Angeles Philharmonic website, he “is one of the most prominent and recognized scorers of silent photoplays in America today.”

The website says that Wilson has been scoring films and touring North America since 1980 for various events and festivals. Among his many achievements, he has been organ conservator and resident organist at the Ohio Theatre for the Columbus Associate for the Performing Arts since 1992.

Stephen Sleeper, senior music composition major, noted the musical excellence of the performance by Wilson.

“I particularly enjoyed the meticulous work put into syncing up the music and the picture on certain cues,” Sleeper said.

Wilson demonstrated his musical prowess on organ, appropriately depicting the images on the screen to affect his audience in a way that followed the themes and feelings associated with the chilling story.

Sydney Funderburk, 2016 film studies alumna, recognized another aspect of the performance.

“I always think it’s interesting how the audience reacts to the acting in silent films because every year it’s different.” Funderburk said. “It’s funny to see how differently the picture translates 80, 90 years later whereas people were terrified watching this before and we’re sitting here, laughing, enjoying it in a completely different light.”

Braden Sapp, junior music education major, attended the event for the first time and said he learned something pertaining to his major.

“The Zimbelstern surprised me because I didn’t think the organ had an instrument like that,” Sapp said.

Sapp said he was interested to hear the different varieties of sound the organ made during the percussion stops.

“I would definitely go again. It’s a great way to spend Halloween,” Sapp said.

The event will continue yearly at the Disney Concert Hall, educating and entertaining newcomers and returners alike.

About Paul Johnson

Asst. A&E Editor

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