Local orchestra to play classic movie songs at Kent State

Bo Gemmell

People passing Cartwright Hall tonight might hear the familiar screeching sounds from the murder scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous horror film Psycho.

Red {an orchestra} will perform “Bernard Herrmann: More than the Movies” in Cartwright Hall at 7:30 tonight as the inaugural event for Kent State’s Centennial Celebration.

The artistic manager of Red {an orchestra}, Laura Kuennen-Poper, said this performance will focus on the work of Bernard Herrmann, a composer whose music appeared in films such as Citizen Kane and Psycho.

Kathy Stafford, chair of the Centennial Celebration Committee, said the inaugural presentation will open a series of events from now until 2010.

“We thought it would be worth celebrating for quite a while,” Stafford said.

Josef Knott, director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music, said Red {an orchestra} appeals to students because the younger generation likes the way the program is delivered.

“Today’s audiences experience music through most or all of their senses,” Knott said.

Red {an orchestra} combines music with “other artistic mediums such as film, visual arts, opera, theater, poetry and literature,” its Web site stated.

Kuennen-Poper said this orchestra tries to bring music to new audiences in new ways.

“We’re primarily different in terms of music,” she said.

She said Red {an orchestra} appeals to people who haven’t seen an orchestra performance before and draws a lot of first-time attendees.

“Our demographic tends to skew younger than other orchestras,” she said.

Knott described the orchestra as “edgy” and “modern.”

“That kind of concert presentation has resonance as well as relevance,” Knott said.

He said other orchestras are adjusting their performances to adapt to changing audiences.

Kuennen-Poper said the performance will include excepts from Herrmann’s only opera, “Wuthering Heights,” as a highlight.

Kent State is hosting the event with Kent Classic Arts and WKSU-FM. Passes for the event are no longer available.

Contact performing arts reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected].