Youngstown Orchestra to Perform ‘Home Alone’ Score During Screening

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – There’s a good reason to not stay home alone this weekend.

The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor Erik Ochsner, will perform the score to “Home Alone” while the hit movie is shown on a large screen onstage.

The family-oriented performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Powers Auditorium.

Ochsner has become known for the hybrid entertainment form. He has performed movie scores – as the movie is screened – in concert halls across the globe, including two performances of “Ghostbusters” last year with the YSO.

“Home Alone” is one of 20 film scores in Ochsner’s repertoire. He’s been doing the shows since 2008.

Ochsner said the live-score concerts are a great way to lure newcomers to a symphony orchestra hall. “They are very popular all around the world,” the New York-based music director said in a phone interview. “I’ve done them everywhere, from Russia to China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico …”

The movie-concerts are also fun for the orchestra, he noted.

“Home Alone” (1990), starring Macauley Caulkin and Catherine O’Hara, has become a holiday staple. It tells the story of an 8-year-old boy who is left by himself in his large suburban house after his family erroneously boards a flight for a vacation without him. He finds himself fending off two bumbling burglars who are trying to break in.

The movie score was written by the legendary John Williams.

Ochsner described the concert experience.

“It’s as if you are seeing the movie in a theater,” he said. “The dialog is intact, and so are the sound effects, like slamming doors, but we’ve removed the soundtrack” so that it can be played live.

A chorus of local children, directed by Youngstown-based music director Joe Spurio, will be on stage to accompany the orchestra.

Keeping all of the musicians and singers performing in sync with the film is crucial to the performance, and it’s not easy.

Ochsner likens the job to a traffic cop at a busy intersection.

“It takes a certain type of crazy enough person like me to pull it off,” he said. “You have to be organized and multitask. I have to study the score and know what the composer wanted, give energy to the orchestra and the chorus, cue people, control volume and control speed, all with an annoying metronome click track playing in my ear to keep the cues just right.”

While the musicians are watching Ochsner, he keeps his eyes peeled on a monitor that alerts him to the musical interludes as they approach.

Other films that Ochsner has given the “live score” treatment in concert include “Frozen,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Back to the Future,” “Batman,” “E.T., the Extraterrestrial,” “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Star Trek” (2009) and “Star Trek: Into the Darkness.”

The founder and director of Sonos Chamber Orchestra in New York, Ochsner is also a candidate for the vacant music director position with the YSO.

He served as guest conductor of the Youngstown orchestra for two concerts last season. His upcoming appearance will be the first of three concerts with the YSO that he will conduct this season.

Ochsner will return March 10 for a masterworks concert, “Unknown & Gorgeous: River & Iron,” that he created specifically for Youngstown.

Then, on April 26, he will lead the orchestra in a concert in which it accompanies regional rock band The Vindys.

Tickets for this weekend’s performances of “Home Alone” with live orchestra accompaniment at Powers Auditorium range from $63 to $18. To purchase in advance, call the box office at 330 259 9651 or click HERE.

Pictured at top: Guest conductor Erik Ochsner will return to Powers Auditorium this weekend to lead the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra in “Home Alone.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.