Community Winds Present ‘Wagner and the Movies’ Saturday

Director Ted Vives conducts the Los Alamos Community Winds in a rehearsal for Saturday’s concert. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

The Los Alamos Community Winds will celebrate two anniversaries at their concert Saturday: the bicentennial of Richard Wagner’s birth, and the 75th anniversaries of two of the most beloved Hollywood motion pictures, “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

The Winds will present “Wagner and the Movies” at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1 at Crossroads Bible Church. The concert is free. Suggested donation is $10.

Wagner’s compositional technique is often described in terms of the so-called leitmotif, or leading motive – a musical theme associated with a particular concept or character. This technique has become well-known to us through the movies.

The power of Wagner’s music to move his contemporaries, and even change their lives, is partially due to his ability to associate musical motifs with powerful stories and compelling characters. Composers for film have tried to followed footsteps, producing some remarkable music.

The winds will present four selections by Wagner: “Entry of the Guests at Wartburg” from Tannhäuser, “Siegfried’s Funeral Music” from Götterdämmerung, “Trauersinfonie,” and “Albumleaf.”

Music from films includes: “Tara’s Theme” from Gone With the Wind by Max Steiner, “Suite from The Wind and the Lion” by Jerry Goldsmith, “Captain America March” by Alan Silvestri, “Wizard of Oz Fantasy” with music by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg in a setting by Paul Yoder and “Harry’s Wondrous World” by John Williams from the first two Harry Potter movies.

Young Winds musicians Aneesh Pawar and Brandon Bao are enjoying the music for this concert. Both musicians are freshmen at Los Alamos High School. The two have been playing together since fifth grade at Chamisa Elementary. Pawar plays clarinet and Bao plays the trombone. Both musicians have been playing with the Winds for about a year.

“The music for this concert is both challenging and fun to play,” Pawar said.

“It is really fun, but I’ve had to practice really hard,” Bao agreed.

Pawar’s favorite selection is “The Wind and the Lion,” because it both sounds good and is challenging to play, he said.

Bao’s favorite is “Siegfried’s Funeral Music,” again because it is so challenging.

Bao was introduced to the Winds by his older brother, who played trumpet with the band before going to college.

“The music we play at school is what you’d expect,” he said. “It’s mostly marches. In the Winds, you get to play everything.”

A colleague of his dad’s introduced Pawar to the Winds.

“I’m really glad I made the choice to join the Winds,” he said.