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Symphony attracts crowd with ‘Cape Movie Magic’

By Staff | Mar 1, 2009

There are very few art forms that elicit the kind of visceral emotional response from their audiences as do motion pictures and orchestral music.
Saturday the two were combined to form one fluid performance as part of the inaugural “Cape Movie Magic” event.
The Gulf Coast Symphony, a volunteer-based community orchestra, played on an outdoor stage behind the Cultural Park Theatre, featuring sweeping themes from “Star Wars,” “Spiderman,” “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Schindler’s List,” “Indiana Jones” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” as scenes from the hit motion pictures flashed on a screen beside it.
Dr. Andrew Kurtz, the symphony’s founder and conductor, said synthesizing the music with the movie scenes was the key for an event like “Cape Movie Magic.”
“It makes it more complicated,” Kurtz said of the added element of movies. “It’s trying to get the flavor of what these sounds were meant to be playing and reflecting on at an emotional level.”
The Gulf Coast Symphony, which played for one hour, was the main event, but there was plenty of preamble. Mariner, Cape Coral and Ida Baker High School musical groups entertained a crowd of hundreds that swelled to about 1,000 as the symphony’s time approached.
The atmosphere leading up to the featured concert was more akin to an amusement park than an outdoor concert, with food, beverage and games vendors soliciting customers, and characters from the various movies — Capt. Jack Sparrow, Indiana Jones, stormtroopers and others — entertaining guests young and old.
The event was more than a year in the making, and J. P. Terrasi, president of Terrasi Media and principal organizer of “Cape Movie Magic,” said it all started with a conversation.
“I was talking to the maestro (Kurtz) and I said, ‘I’ve never seen you in the Cape,’ and he said, ‘I’ve never been invited,'” Terrasi said.
Terrasi set about rectifying that situation, but focused on creating a family-friendly event that provided children’s entertainment. That meant playing music they could relate to and recognize.
“We could’ve easily played Bach and Beethoven, but we didn’t want to do that,” Terrasi said.
He also stressed the importance of providing a free, family-friendly event during harsh economic times.
“Kids don’t know better, that’s why we geared this toward them,” Terrasi said.
Beth Sanger, president of the Cape Coral Community Foundation, a sponsor and organizer of “Cape Movie Magic,” echoed Terrasi’s sentiments.
“All you hear on the news is the economy is bad and the foreclosures, but people are still here, living and breathing, and they need things like this,” she said.