Springfield Symphony to present ‘Home Alone’ in concert

Even if you’ve seen the holiday classic “Home Alone” countless times on television since its 1990 debut, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has a new and unique way to experience Macaulay Culkin outwitting the bumbling bad guys this season.

“Home Alone in Concert” will show the film while the SSO performs the classic John Williams score live under the direction of guest conductor Ron Spigelman at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. Tickets are still available.

The SSO has found a way to do a seasonal show while appealing to people of all ages, from those who’ve seen “Home Alone” to those who haven’t or want a new way of watching and hearing it. SSO conductor and music director Peter Stafford Wilson passes the baton to good friend Spigelman to lead the way.

One of the biggest modern concert experiences is taking classic films and performing their scores live, and Spigelman is at the forefront. He’s performed other Williams classics including the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” films, as well as “Elf” and others.

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Given how much some of these scores characterize the films, it’s something the audience can appreciate on a different level. Spigelman describes conducting it like flying an airplane and having to stick the landing or like a ballet with lots of tempo changes.

“This is what I call a true 3-D experience,” he said. “It’s live, making it an extreme challenge taking beloved movies with the pressure to recreate the experience is immense. Accuracy and precision are vital, but I love the challenge and audiences love these movies, the laughter and excitement.”

While some of the fantasy films like “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Harry Potter” are epics with easily identifiable music, “Home Alone” is a comedy. Spigelman appreciates what Williams does on a different scale, confirming him as one of the greatest film composers ever.

“There’s a lot of strength in the more intimate scoring, and there are whimsical moments with the robbers, but also has a lot of color and suspense. (Williams) is so versatile and completely controls and understands all of that,” he said.

An added feature is the Springfield Symphony Chorale performing. The film will also carry subtitles if the score is too loud.

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While most people tend to leave once a movie’s closing credits begin, Spigelman hints the audience should stay for the end credits as it will allow the SSO to shine. As this will be his first trip to Springfield, Ohio, he’s ironically conducted for the symphony in Springfield, Mo., and looks forward to meeting the people and enjoying the holiday atmosphere here.

“I’m thrilled Peter asked me to do this, and I hope people will have fun with the movie as it’s a chance to come and get involved and enjoy a unique experience,” Spigelman said.


What: “Home Alone in Concert”

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Fountain Ave., Springfield

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10

Admission: $50-80

More info: springfieldsym.org/home-alone-in-concert/

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