Magic of the Music

J.K. Rowling’s beloved books and film adaptations, the Harry Potter series, are brought to life through a series of concerts by Kansas City Symphony and Choir.


The movie played on the large screen above the symphony. Photo by Jenna Barackman

Jenna Barackman, Reporter

Magic truly was in the air when the first note of the famous “Harry Potter” soundtrack filled the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as the first scene of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” played simultaneously. The Kansas City Symphony made these already beautiful and imaginative movies more vibrant and emotional through their live music, successfully creating a niche atmosphere for Harry Potter fanatics to enjoy the iconic music and to find a community.

Nearly every seat was filled with Harry Potter fans of all ages wearing robes, carrying wands and showing their Hogwarts house pride through colorful scarves, ties, pins and hats Sept. 6. Merchandise stations were also set up outside of the event where eager fans, already decked out in Harry Potter gear, rushed to get more.

When everyone took their seats and anxiously waited for the award-winning movie to begin, the musicians and the choir, both dressed in robes or in Hogwart’s colors, tuned their instruments. Fans excitedly chatted about the book series they’d grown up loving and shared fan theories. Finally, the lights dimmed and the audience fell silent before breaking into loud cheers when their favorite characters appeared in the opening scene.

Not a single note was offbeat or flat, as the symphony and choir made fans both nostalgic and feel like they really were a part of J.K. Rowling’s universe, where teenagers could ride hippogriffs and magic was real. The symphony was outstanding throughout the entire show, completely harmonized and with perfect timing throughout the whole concert.


The program for the concert

Throughout the movie, fans were encouraged to cheer at the victories of their favorite characters, snark at the mannerisms of the evil characters and not hold anything back when it came to emotions, and the crowd did just that. The audience had no fear when it came to laughing when Harry Potter quite literally blew up his aunt and had no trouble holding back their “boos” whenever Draco Malfoy appeared onscreen. The perfectly-synced music played melodies they’d heard a thousand times before. But this time closer, louder and more prominently showcased.


Since the music was the main feat of the concert, fans were given a taste of how the music really does make the movie. As the center of the show, the music set the mood for each scene in the movie and added more emotion and realness. Paired with the lively crowd full of fans, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” did not necessarily reimagine the movie and its universe, but instead put special emphasis on the factors that make the Harry Potter series and the community it created truly magical.

The symphony and choir will be performing “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” Jan. 3-6, and then the rest of the movies later in the year with tickets starting at $140.