ECO successfully performs classic film on Halloween


“We all go a little mad sometimes,” perfectly describes the atmosphere Erie Chamber Orchestra, ECO, created with Saturday’s musical performance of the soundtrack from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film “Psycho.”

The sound emitted from the orchestra, which was entirely made up of string instruments, was eerie and bone-chilling.

Madison Jagoda, a junior pre-veterinary major, experienced “Psycho,” for the first time with the live performance of the score. She said that the live score emphasized certain scenes and that the Warner Theatre space made the audience feel like it was a part of a different time.

“The décor and atmosphere of the Warner Theatre definitely transported the audience back in time and with the live score, made the movie more enjoyable,” Jagoda said.

A.J. Miceli, communication arts director, said the experience itself was unique and with the help of the Activities Programming Board (APB), the ECO was able to make this year’s event possible.

“I was really taken by the color of light reflecting off the instruments,” Miceli said. “There was a warmth that was added to this steel gray, black and white film that wasn’t there in the original experience.

“After the first 15-20 seconds, I never really paid attention to the orchestra because the film itself is riveting because of the artistry of Alfred Hitchcock, but oddly enough it became an integrated experience. The live music sounded full and it added a freshness to the movie.”

ECO created a similar event last year with Charlie Chaplin’s critically acclaimed film “City Lights,” which was made during the silent film era.

Miceli said that last year’s performance of “City Lights,” was such a unique experience.

“In Hitchcock’s film we find the orchestra providing emotion as well as some of the suspense,” Miceli said.  “The soundtrack really supports the dialogue and the images, where as in ‘City Lights,’ the soundtrack was equal to the images, so both were a different experience.

“I think if we ever do this again, I’d like to see us do a silent movie more so than this. Not because this was bad, because in fact this was incredible, but the music is more of a partner in a silent movie.”

While events like these bring in a decent amount of viewers, the holiday seemed to attract a wider array of audience members. Many of whom were festively dressed in Halloween garb.

Jagoda said it was nice to be a part of an audience that got into the spirit of Halloween by dressing up.

“I hadn’t dressed up on Halloween for a few years now,” Jagoda said. “It was nice to go and watch a movie that was only made better with the orchestra and the atmosphere that was portrayed.”

Miceli said there were a lot of faces that weren’t ECO regulars which follows its mission of exposing people who don’t have access to fine music.

“I was so happy to see younger people and other faces that don’t normally attend either an Erie Philharmonics concert or the Erie Chamber Orchestra Concert,” Miceli said. “We want to look for experiences that are true to our mission and something like this certainly is.”

“Our children’s concerts are really close to the heart and mission that Bruce Morton Wright and Clarence Beyers set for us. So we are going to look for this kind of opportunity or others in the future.”

ECO’s next event will be “Midori” and it will be held at Cathedral Prep Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21.



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