‘Spooky Strings 4’ set for Saturday at new venue
Alocal group of musicians is planning to bring back from the dead a well-received act, featuring ghoulish grooves and macabre melodies, just in time for Halloween weekend in the city’s downtown
Back by popular demand and at a new venue to boot, the Anthracite Philharmonic, under the direction of Mark P. Thomas, will present Spooky Strings 4 at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic Theater, 209 N. Centre St., Pottsville. Tickets for the event are $20 and can be bought at the door, according to Linda Kriner, orchestra manager and president of the philharmonic board.
The fourth installment of Spooky Strings, which wasn’t held last year, is “a compilation of Halloweenthemed music from the theme music from ‘Psycho’ the movie, which everybody knows, to classical compositions like ‘Night on Bald Mountain,’ ” Kriner said. “This was written in the 1800s sometime by a Russian composer, (Modest) Mussorgsky, and he took it from some kind of a fable where the witches would gather on one night on this mountain to gossip, to play and carry on until the devil comes. And when the devil gets there, they all worship him . ... It’s kind of bizarre for the 19th century.”
Kriner added that, like the frantic-sounding “Night on Bald Mountain,” much of the original classical music is very much recognizable.
The setlist, to be played by a group of 22 string players — 12 violinists, four violists, four cellists and two bassists — includes The Addams Family theme, the “Danse Macabre,” “The Monster Mash” and selections from “Midnight at the Museum,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the “Harry Potter” series and “Edward Scissorhands.”
“We don’t always think of classical music at a Halloween party,” Kriner said. “And I understand the theater will be decorated, so that will add to the atmosphere.” The performers, she said, will also be in costume.
After seeing the scenes in the city a few weeks ago, Kriner is hoping that the bustling nature of the festive Pottsville will be a draw at the Majestic Theatre and a boon to the musicians.
“Pottsville was alive. There were people going into the restaurants ... and I thought ‘wow, this is Pottsville around 6 o’clock on a Saturday night, and that’s nice to see.’ That’s why I’m excited to be down here again . ... We encourage all ages to come because this is something that’s fun, plus it introduces classical music to people who don’t know they’re hearing classical music.”
Next for the Anthracite Philharmonic is the spring concert, to be held in April with a theme yet to be announced. For more information about Spooky Strings 4 or the philharmonic, visit www.antphil.org or Facebook: Anthracite Philharmonic.
Mark P. Thomas, right, directs members of the Anthracite Philharmonic’s violin section, from left, Michael Johnson, Pottsville; Deirdre Kelly, Quakertown; Laura Meyer and Daniel Gibson, both of Pennsburg, and Peyton Thomas, Barto, during rehearsal for the group’s Spooky Strings 4 concert to be held 7 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic Theater, Pottsville.