By Zach Gewelb
The New York Pops Orchestra put on quite a show Thursday night at Forest Hills Stadium. Performing at the venue for the third straight year, the Pops — led by conductor Steven Reineke — dazzled with selections of famed composer John Williams’ iconic film scores.
The concert, split into two acts, began with Williams’ scores from his collaborations with director Steven Spielberg . The show opened with the theme to “Jaws,” followed by a rendition of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The Pops then played one of the most iconic film scores of all time, with their iteration of the theme to “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” drawing the biggest applause of the first act.
The act followed with music from “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” the theme from “Hook,” and a sobering rendition of “Schindler’s List,” which featured a terrific performance from violinist and Concertmaster Cenovia Cummings. The first half of the show ended with the magical theme of “Jurassic Park.”
After a brief 20-minute intermission, the second act began with the theme from the Harry Potter movies before transitioning to selections from the “Star Wars” saga. The Pops performed five different themes from the movies, including the iconic main title from “A New Hope,” the love theme from “Attack of the Clones,” and two scores from “The Force Awakens.”
The most impressive performance was the Imperial March, which featured special guests, including Stormtroopers, Imperial Pilots and the infamous Darth Vader, who took to the stage to conduct some of the theme.
The show’s end drew a standing ovation and an encore performance of the Cantina theme from the original Star Wars movie.
Overall, the Pops put on a great show that had fans of all ages excited and on their feet throughout the night.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe