Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra to celebrate John Williams’ 90th birthday

March 18, 2022

Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra to celebrate John Williams’ 90th birthday

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra will bring back many memories — and maybe even a few cold chills — when it honors acclaimed American composer John Williams later this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Shryock Auditorium.

The performance is at 7:30 p.m. March 29. The orchestra will perform an entire concert of Williams’ music from acclaimed films including “Jaws,” “Superman,” “Harry Potter,” “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Terminal,” “Schindler’s List” and “Star Wars.” Williams, who is also a conductor and pianist, turned 90 in February.

Orchestra members will wear their favorite movie costumes, and the audience is encouraged to do the same.

Michael Barta, a professor in the School of Music, will perform as a violin soloist. Hannah Faircloth, a second-year graduate music student, will perform as a clarinet soloist. Symphony members include SIU graduate and undergraduate music majors, non-majors, community members and local professionals, all under the direction of Edward M. Benyas, a professor of oboe and conducting.

Prior to the orchestra’s first dress rehearsal, Walter Metz, a professor of cinema in the School of Media Arts, will present a free, half-hour lecture on Williams at 7:30 p.m. March 27, onstage in Shryock Auditorium.

General admission tickets for the March 29 orchestra performance are $20; $10 for students of any age. Tickets are available in advance through the Saluki Athletic Ticket Office, or at the door the night of the performance.

For more information, email Benyas at