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>  News Releases >   2003 >   February

Senior Fellow creates and conducts movie-music concert

Posted 02/27/03, Kathleen McDermott '03


Chris Collier '03
Program ranges from 'Psycho' to 'Indiana Jones'

On Tuesday, March 4, the music of award-winning films such as Saving Private Ryan and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade will be performed by an orchestra under the conductorship of Dartmouth senior and music major Chris Collier. The concert is free and open to the public and will be held at 8 p.m. in the Hopkins Center's Spaulding Auditorium.

Since September Collier has been studying the often-overlooked genre of film music and working with a team of both student and professional musicians to produce the 65-minute concert. The music featured will showcase a wide range of American film composers and illustrate the parallels and contrasts between film music and more traditional concert music.

Collier believes this concert will mark the first student-directed orchestra performance held on the Dartmouth campus dedicated to illustrating the power of film music. In addition to "Hymn to the Fallen" from Saving Private Ryan and "Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra" from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the concert's program will include four selections from Ben Hur, "Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra" from The Red Violin (1997), "Theme" from The Magnificent Seven (1961), and music from the 1961 classic Psycho.

Collier was able to undertake the full-time project of producing and conducting the concert through the College's Senior Fellowship program. In lieu of enrolling in regular classes, selected seniors are allowed to spend their senior year engaged in independent study of a specialized academic interest — in Collier's case, the study of film music. After enrolling as the only freshman in an upper-level conducting course three years ago, Collier has conducted the Dartmouth Chamber Orchestra, the Dartmouth Harlequins Orchestra, the Dartmouth College Marching Band, and the Upper Valley Youth Winds.

Collier explained that because of the small faculty-to-student ratio within the department, he has had more opportunities for conducting than many of his friends in graduate programs in music. While his friends in music conservatories "sit in a room and practice over and over again," Collier said that at Dartmouth he has received unparalleled opportunities for "student involvement and student imagination.

"If you're interested in something, the department will stand behind you and help you make it happen," Collier said.

As a music major Collier also traveled to London last year with the department's foreign study program, receiving what he called "a perspective [on music] that you could not get anywhere but there. London might as well be named the musical capital of the world at the moment, at least the classical musical capital."

Now as a senior fellow Collier has worked throughout the year with professors in the music department to fine-tune his conducting skills in preparation for graduate study. He hopes to eventually pursue a masters in music performance after graduating in June.

Only through the Senior Fellowship program would he have been able to combine his passion for conducting and film music and develop his skills in performance and musicology, Collier said.

In addition to his concert, in May Collier will present a public multimedia lecture on film music.

-Kathleen McDermott '03

Senior fellowship concert

Tuesday, March 4
8 p.m.
Spaulding Auditorium
Free, public
646-2422

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