Fright Night Musical Delight

By Laura Latzko, Oct. 23, 2014.

Just in time for Halloween, Desert Overture presents a spooky and spirited concert experience for attendees of all ages.

Phoenix’s LGBT wind symphony, made up of 45 new and returning band members, presents “Incantations: A Fright Night Musical Delight” Oct. 24 at Phoenix College’s John Paul Theatre.

“I think this is going to be one of the most fun concerts we’ve ever done,” said Scott Helms, Desert Overture’s founding artistic director. “I really wanted to keep the audience entertained and engaged.”

In additional to the music and audience participation that Desert Overture is known for, here are eight reasons to see the Halloween-themed concert:

1. A Festive First

The Halloween concert marks Desert Overture’s departure from its annual tradition of two holiday concerts. The wind symphony still plans to do a holiday performance with soloists and ensembles at Glendale Glitters but won’t perform a full-band holiday concert.

2. Dress To Impress

Attendees are invited to celebrate Halloween early by donning their scary, funny or sexy costumes for entry into the show’s costume contest. The band will award prizes for first through third place costumes, chosen by audience applause.

3. Zombies Take the Stage

Instead of their traditional black attire, members of the wind symphony will dress as zombies. Helms said the cast prepared for the zombie style of dress and makeup through a tutorial hosted by the Mardi Gras Costume Shop. For some band members, including percussionist Danita Cuker, this marks their first concert in costume.

4. Cult Classic Elements

During the concert, audience members can get up and dance in the aisles during the wind symphony’s edition of “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Special characters from Frankie’s Fishnets, Arizona’s Rocky Horror troupe, will join the band dressed as the characters of Riff Raff, Columbia and Magenta.

5. A Phantom Appearance

Dressed as the Phantom character from “Phantom of the Opera,” guest violinist Scott Glasser will join the band for a medley of songs from the popular musical. Audience members can expect to see a few other special guest characters throughout the concert as well.

6. Old Favorites

While Reverend Patrick Stout, from the Community Church of Hope, will return as the evening’s host, the program for the Halloween concert features popular and lesser-known pieces, including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” and “Nevermore,” is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.”

7. The Halloween Spirit

For “Voodoo,” band members will play in the dark and chant. To get ready for the piece, they memorized portions of the song and practiced it together in the dark. And during a piece called “Ghost Train,” a slide show will accompany the wind symphony’s rendition of the classic piece that tells the story of a haunted train that is part of Southwestern folklore.

8. Community Support

For the concert, Desert Overture is partnering with the Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, an organization that supports homeless youth. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the organization.  Additionally, Desert Overture comprises community members who regularly donate their time because of their love of the group and music. 

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