Frankenstein movie score to premiere at Columbia Theatre

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Michael Shapiro
by: Tonya Lowentritt

FRANKENSTEIN LIVES – Guest conductor Michael Shapiro will lead Southeastern Louisiana University's Wind Symphony in the world premiere of his new music score he wrote as patrons view the timeless horror classic film "Frankenstein" on Saturday, Oct. 11. Scheduled for 7:30 p.m., the event will take place in the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.

HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University's Wind Symphony will breathe new life into "Frankenstein" by performing a new music score to accompany the classic cinema horror film during a world premiere presentation at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The infamous monster comes to life again with the world premiere of "Frankenstein – The Movie Score" at the downtown theatre on Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m.

Columbia Theatre and Fanfare Interim Director Roy Blackwood said "Frankenstein – The Movie Score" enables patrons to experience one of Hollywood's classic horror films in a unique way with Southeastern's Wind Symphony performing the new music score.

"This unique inaugural event pairs the excitement of a classic horror movie with a wind symphony score designed especially for this movie," Blackwood said. "Boris Karloff made Frankenstein world famous, and Michael Shapiro is world renowned in the music world. What a fabulous partnership and premise for viewer pleasure. Don't miss it."

The Wind Symphony will be under the direction of guest conductor Michael Shapiro, music director and conductor of the Chappaqua Orchestra in New York's Westchester County. Shapiro wrote the music score specifically for wind symphonies.

"In the late '20s, movies began to be produced as talkies, but fully-composed music scores were not added to film until 1933," explained Glen J. Hemberger, director of Southeastern's Wind Symphony. "The original 'Frankenstein' movie includes stock music only during the opening and closing credits."

That changed in 2002, when Shapiro premiered "Frankmusic," an original score to the classic 1931 film that starred Boris Karloff.

"Many critics, such as Leonard Malton, remarked that 'Frankenstein' is badly in need of music," noted Shapiro. "My task was to compose a film score that would be played live in a theatre, not mechanically welded to the film on a DVD or for theatrical release. The film score would have to operate much as music underscores action in an opera or ballet – always as servant to the drama, but also as its complement."

Shapiro's work has been performed widely throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe with broadcasts of premieres on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and others. He has amassed more than 100 works for solo voice, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus and orchestra, as well as for opera, film and television.

Tickets for the Frankenstein – The Movie Score range from $20 - $34 and are available at the Columbia Theatre box office Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by phone at (985) 543-4371. Patrons may also get tickets online at

All Southeastern faculty, retired faculty or university staff with ID may purchase one ticket for Frankenstein -- The Movie Score and receive one ticket at half price. Both tickets must be purchased in the same transaction and for the same price at the Columbia box office. Contact the box office at 985-543-4371 for more information.


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