A salute to John Williams: Movie music magic

Periodically from time to time, I look up upcoming events in nearby cities in case any are of interest. Around the holidays, I came across the Sacramento Philharmonic’s POP series and their upcoming Salute to John Williams.

Does the name John Williams sound familiar? If it does, you are probably taking a stroll down movie memory lane right this moment. If not, have you seen Harry Potter? Jaws? Indiana Jones? Star Wars? He’s the man behind MANY (x a million) popular movie scores and therefore many of our movie memories. You don’t dare take a step towards open water when you think of the famous two notes from Jaws. And you have a sudden urge for adventure when you hear “Raider’s March” from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It’s safe to assume that he has a ton of awards, and the trivia junkie in me wanted to know exactly how many. I looked up his website:


He’s been nominated for 45 Academy Awards; won five.
59 Grammy nominations; won 18.
Mic drop.

The Sacramento Philharmonic played select pieces spanning close to 50 years of his music. I didn’t recognize every single song, but I enjoyed hearing all of them. During the songs I did recognize, I would think about my emotions from when I saw these movies. My friend and I were a broken record throughout the night – “We need to watch this movie again,” “and that one too,” and “…and this one!” This just reaffirms how important music is to a movie. You can have the best actors, realistic sets, and well written scripts, but they aren’t complete without music to set the movie’s tone and emphasize emotions felt by the characters.

I probably got the most movie feels from Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and Star Wars. I was grinning so big, and I was slightly tapping my foot during the Star Wars set. Everyone appeared to be a happy kid and gave a standing ovation.

At the age of 84, Williams is still adding to his list of projects. And we are so lucky to hear them.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have all these movies to watch…

What is one of your favorite John Williams movie scores?

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