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Inside Look into Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Live at The Segerstrom Center

We visited as a guest of the venue

My two teen daughters have many diverse hobbies and interests, but two main obsessions – music and Harry Potter. My 16-year-old has read the series eight times through, enjoyed the films many times over, and is a member of her high school’s Harry Potter Club called The Muggles of YL. She also plays the flute and piano in the high school marching, concert, and jazz bands. My 14-year-old is similarly fanatical about the “Wizarding World” and is a violinist in her middle school orchestra.

So you can imagine their disbelief followed by extreme excitement to learn they’d be treated to a behind-the-scenes rehearsal and performance of a Harry Potter film with live orchestration.

The acclaimed Pacific Symphony, led by renowned conductor Jeffrey Schindler performing John Williams’ award-winning and memorable music from the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets happens this weekend on stage at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa.

Watching the film play on a 40-foot screen in high definition while a live 85 piece orchestra delivers every note of this iconic score is an incredible experience and inspiring for any musician (and Harry Potter fan!).

The rehearsal allowed us to see these talented musicians follow specific cues and run through several key scenes from the film. Marrying the music to the film on screen was a marvel to watch as conductor Jeffrey Schindler offered his musicians instructions to synchronize the music’s pace and feeling to the film playing on the screen simultaneously.

It’s all live; no pre-recorded tracks, no earpieces with tempo. With over 250 film and television music production credits in his career, Schindler’s expert direction allows the film’s action, dialog, and plot to unfold in tandem with the musical story.

In a concert film experience, the conductor is the director – of both the orchestra and the film onscreen – with the music serving as the emotional narrative of the story. The swell of the strings and fury of the deep French horns as Harry and friends zoom through the sky during the Quidditch match puts you at that moment, caught up in suspense and feeling every high and low. The music is the invisible character.

Having the orchestra on stage delivering the emotion of the film live and in person makes John William’s score even more urgent and vital to the story. You see it and feel it in a way you haven’t before.

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series, bringing the films to life with live orchestration, kicked off in June 2016 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and is scheduled to include hundreds of performances across more than 35 countries around the world through 2018. The second film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa with three performances on Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, 2017.

The Harry Potter Film Concert Series is created and produced by Justin Freer of CineConcerts, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. Says Freer, “The Harry Potter film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. It is with great pleasure that we introduced for the first time ever an opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved film is simultaneously projected onto the big screen. It is an unforgettable event.”

Indeed, fans of the books, the films, and great music will thoroughly enjoy this new way to experience a beloved film franchise that will truly delight all the senses.

For more information on the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, please visit Tickets for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets start at $39 and are available online at, by calling (714) 556-2787, and at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.

Karen Bremer is a North Orange County native. She’s a mom, freelance writer, and owner of Her company Bee Creative specializes in products for scrapbooking, card making, and paper crafting online and in person at consumer shows in major cities around the country. Married for 16 years with 13 and 11 year old girls, her business provides the flexibility she needs to be a dance mom, room mom, and girl scout leader among other titles. Free time? She’s never seen it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
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