The most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Many of us cherish the cold nights with family, where we can come together and watch holiday classics like Home Alone to put us in the spirit of the season. Currently, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra is providing that opportunity, but with the magic of live music. Home Alone is the second installment of the CSO’s live movie series. The John Hughes film is timeless and enjoyable for audience members of all ages. During my viewing last night, I was not surprised to see young children joining the crowd, some even dressed in their most festive garb.

Once seated, we were greeted by the conductor, David Glover. He welcomed us to the performance and shared an anecdote about a widely misconceived notion regarding the tarantula in the movie. Soon, he turned to face the orchestra, the house lights went dark, and a childlike excitement filled the room. The atmosphere of Home Alone in Concert is unlike any movie theatre experience. The return of the CSO’s live movies in concert marks a return to the Belk Theater for many. The sound of 20th Century Fox‘s iconic theme boomed throughout the space, a charming surprise that brought a smile to my face.

There was something so unique about the joy with which the audience experienced the movie, laughing out loud together and ardently applauding the orchestra’s pristine execution of the score. There was no fear of laughing too loudly because the theater rang with laughter every time something funny happened on the screen. The live music only added to the experience, enhancing everything that was happening on screen.

The score, composed by John Williams, is the epitome of the holiday season. The CSO’s performance was perfectly filled with mischief, magic, and mayhem. As they played, we were able to hear the little quirks of the score that aren’t so easy to notice without a live orchestra. As someone who has never experienced a movie with live music, I can say it’s an experience everyone must have. It’s an incredibly authentic way to see a movie and absorb the music that’s intended to support it. The CSO’s performance maintained the tone and quality of the music and film throughout, keeping the audience engaged and mesmerized. Not to mention, there is something so picturesque about the orchestra and its conductor sitting below a movie screen playing a beloved classic.

The task of conducting an orchestra through a live movie is surely not an easy feat. Home Alone is no exception. The music supports the movie’s action, often embodying childish antics such as setting up traps for greasy criminals. Trying to keep up with a childlike Kevin McCallister is not an enviable task, and still, Glover did it effortlessly. He was able to laugh along with the movie and jovially conduct holiday pieces with incomparable spark.

The CSO’s live movie series makes iconic films come to life. Their performances make you realize the compositional complexity of your favorite moments, making them even more special. If you’re looking for a holiday experience for the entire family, join the CSO for Home Alone in Concert for a final performance tonight, Saturday, November 27. For more details on this event, please view the sidebar.