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Utah Symphony spooks at annual Halloween concert

By Heather Hayes

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 7:14 p.m. MDT

Conductor Vladimir Kulenovic and the Utah Symphony during the Salute to Youth concert Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City.

, Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

What did Gumby, a tornado, a robot and Pippi Longstocking all have in common on Tuesday night? They were master musicians — plucking, bowing, striking and piping at Abravanel Hall, where the Utah Symphony donned costumes and played Halloween-themed music to a sold-out audience.

Under the baton of Vladimir Kulenovic, tunes from the eerie to the inspiring floated among a mostly costumed audience of goblins and ghouls. This year’s theme, “Superheros,” gave way to a host of John Williams' movie score hits from “Star Wars” to “Superman” to “Hook.” Also interspersed was Stravinky’s “Danse Sacrale,” Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” and Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra, op. 30.”

In between numbers, guest actor Casey Elliot played an amnesiac superhero trying to place his own identity with the help of the conductor, musicians and audience.

The Halloween concert attracts hundreds of less-familiar faces to the Utah Symphony each year. The costume contest before the program is the largest in Utah. Finalists were asked onto the stage to be voted upon with applause, the winners being a family of “Lost in Space” characters, Miss Piggy and an adorable pint-sized jellyfish.

Even while negotiating the music in costume, the sparkling orchestra, with its unwavering precision and captivating soul, is certain to have left a good impression on its audience.

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