Hallowpalooza III: The Hills are Alive!

Wednesday night inside Memorial Auditorium, was the School of Music’s third annual Halloween concert which presence created an enormous line that curved through College Green with a composite of eager students, faculty, residents, and young fairies and monsters decked out for the Halloween-themed occasion.

Due to the massive turnout, the concert was pushed back about 15 minutes, but started with a bang as the curtain opened on the entire OU Orchestra with vocal accompaniment from the Chorale situated in the audience to sing “O Fortuna.”  Steven Huang conducted this piece completely disguised as a nun.

This costume was the first of many as Huang stripped from his habit to reveal a Julie Andrews inspired get-up for the Sound of Music medley which followed the opening act.  Each conductor that followed had a theme for their attire and on-stage persona which matched the song that they were conducting.  “Pirates of the Caribbean” even featured a sword fight between the conductor and a rogue pirate that appeared from offstage.

Although the costumes of the conductors and musicians on stage (the entire strings section were buzzing bees) was very entertaining, my favorite part of the entire concert was “Toccata and Fugue in De Minor” in which the organ narrated a dance that seemed a bit nontraditional.  The performer moved methodically and with a ballerina-like grace as she interacted with her light-up hoola hoop that provided the only illumination on stage.  Although an activity not necessarily attributed with Halloween or classical music, the glowing hoop created an eerie silhouette that gave both a breath-taking and goolish effect.

Hallowpalooza did not forget our other favorite performers as Marching 110 provided the final piece, “Sweeney Todd” with an energy that resonated out of every piece of brass and percussion that lined the aisles of the auditorium.

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