The soundtrack of our lives...and that's no exaggeration.

If you love the movies, you know the work of John Williams.

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And The Crowd Goes Wild

Tuesday night (6/21/22) at the Capitol Theater, the Yakima Symphony Orchestra,(YSO) celebrating 50 years of existence, played a tribute to the music of John Williams and it was simply great!

John Williams is a 90-year-old composer who has written some of the most familiar music in American movie history. Wikipedia says:

In a career that has spanned seven decades, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable and critically acclaimed film scores in cinematic history. Williams has won 25 Grammy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. With 52 Academy Award nominations, he is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney. His compositions are considered the epitome of film music and he is considered among the greatest composers in the history of cinema


A Huge Body of Work

A lot of people know that Williams wrote the music for the movie JAWS and believe that to be their first exposure to his music. But Williams worked in film music since 1959 on 33 movies before Jaws.  You've probably seen a bunch of them.  They include:

  • Diamond Head (1963)
  • Gidget Goes to Rome (1963)
  • The Reivers (1969)
  • The Cowboys (1972)
  • The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  • The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973)
  • Cinderella Liberty (1973)
  • The Sugarland Express (1974)
  • The Towering Inferno (1974)
  • The Eiger Sanction (1975)

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Awards Shelf

In 1975 JAWS hit the screen and millions of us left the water! The music moved the movie and the movie moved the country!  Williams won an Oscar for the creepy tension-filled original score.

Not Lost in Space

1977 was a dynamic double for Williams who wrote the music for Star Wars, another Oscar winner...

as well as the music for a hit where the creatures of space choose to visit earth in Close Encounters of the Third Kind with a worldwide Box Office take of nearly $341--million dollars. How can anyone ever visit Devil's Tower in Wyoming and not think about the music and images of Close Encounters?

Stay With A Winner

When the alien thing is working for you, you stay with it, and in 1982 Maestro Williams penned the academy award-winning score to the forever charming E.T.

E.T. came out 40 years ago and is still a family favorite, largely in part because of the music.

A Story That Had To Be Told

Williams's last Oscar win was for the score he wrote for the 1993 Best Picture Winner Schindler's List.  It is an amazing gut-punch of a movie with incredible music.  3 hours of crushing genius.

Since Schindler's list, Williams worked on 30+ films making those movies even better for his musical genius. To name a few:

  • Nixon (1995)
  • Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
  • Amistad (1997)
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • Angela’s Ashes (1999)
  • The Patriot (2000)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’ Stone (2001)
  • War of the Worlds (2005)
  • War Horse (2011)
  • Lincoln (2012)

I'll conclude this personal tribute with my favorite John Williams movie theme played so inspiringly well by the Yakima Symphony Orchestra (YSO) on Tuesday night.  It brings goosebumps every time.

Thanks, YSO for a great tribute night, and thanks to John Williams for the creative music genius like the Theme from Superman.

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