Symphony performance is a “hidden treasure”

The Shoals Symphony at UNA warms up before their performance in Norton Auditorium Feb. 26. 

by Editor-in-Chief Kali Daniel

Several months ago rumors spread about Johnny Depp being in the Shoals. Tonight, Depp was not only in the Shoals, but in Norton Auditorium as the Shoals Symphony at UNA performed the score of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”

As I got comfortable in my seat on the front row of the center aisle, I had no idea what I was in for. The symphony chatted, practiced and awaited their debut with excitement not three feet from me.

I remember seeing the film with my parents as a child, excited by not only the action, suspense and drama, but the score. I love it so much, in fact, I purchased the CD and listened to it regularly. The joy I had watching the film as a child was reflected in the 6-year-old sitting one section over, ooh-ing, ahh-ing and exclaiming, “that’s hilarious!”

Before the film, UNA alumnus and music manager for the Disney Music Group Royd Haston introduced the film, appealing to children, university students and community members. He explained the story behind the score and encouraged us all to continue supporting the symphony, which I would soon support whole-heartedly.

As the film began, I slowly left the auditorium and was transported to a movie theater. I was 10 years old again, watching the film in theaters. While the violinists before me moved their bows, I forgot the score wasn’t included in this evening’s screening — the performance was impeccable.

Conductor Daniel Stevens effortlessly kept time with the steady transitions, as between songs various members of the orchestra stole glances at the screen, laughing with the crowd. With the intermission, I was forced back into reality, but only long enough to stand with about 100 other ladies as we waited for the bathroom.

The last half of the film flew by. I was caught up in borderline giggles of excitement as the music overwhelmed me, putting me in the center of the film.

As the film ended and the crowd gave a standing ovation, I could only beam with pride. I am not one to be voted most school spirited, however staring into the faces of my peers who work so hard to put together a beautifully crafted artistic masterpiece, I could only feel awestruck.

While this was my first time witnessing the Shoals Symphony at UNA, it will not be my last. The arts are alive and well at this university and tonight they gave me not only nostalgia, but the feeling of being 10 years old at sea with Captain Jack Sparrow.