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The SYMPHONIA to Bring “Star Wars” to Life at Festival of the Arts Boca

With a booming horn section, jaunty strings, clashing cymbals, and twinkling piccolo, it’s a sound that can’t be mistaken: the “Star Wars” theme song.

Come March 1, The SYMPHONIA will be performing the musical score of “Star Wars: A New Hope” as the film plays, one of the most highly anticipated events of this year’s Festival of the Arts Boca.

“I think there’s a whole block of people who don’t even realize what an important role orchestral music and just great music plays,” says Jeff Kaye, the artistic director of The SYMPHONIA and principal trumpet player. “Imagine ‘Star Wars’ without music. Imagine ‘Jaws.’”

Jeff Kaye, artistic director of The SYMPHONIA

The orchestra has been a part of the festival for over a decade, and has performed musical scores of popular movies like “E.T.,” “West Side Story,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Casablanca.” As the audience watches the movie, the music truly comes to life as the orchestra performs grand scores by legends like Leonard Bernstein and John Williams.

Not only does the live music provide entertainment, it’s an eye-opening experience for the audience.

“Going to see a movie like ‘Star Wars,’ it makes this great music accessible to the masses,” Kaye says. “To me, it takes down the barriers….it’s unusual for most people to see the orchestra actually being a part of the film.”

While the core of The SYMPHONIA is 34 musicians, to be able to play the booming “Star Wars” score, the orchestra has expanded to a whopping 76 musicians. And while timing is always of the essence in playing music, it’s especially vital when performing alongside a movie, as every note has to align with the film.

Even more impressive? They’re able to pull it off while only rehearsing together only twice before show time—Tony Award-winning conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos will lead the chamber orchestra.

“We have the best of the best conducting us and leading us and that’s what makes it possible,” Kaye says. “Every player has their music and must practice and be 100 percent prepared so that we are all on our A-game, from the downbeat of the first rehearsal. There is no time to learn your parts at the rehearsals—preparation, preparation, preparation! It’s the only way the John Williams soundtrack can be put together in two days.”

The SYMPHONIA will be performing ‘Star Wars: A New Hope” on March 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Mizner Park Amphitheater. The orchestra is a part of an impressive lineup of musical performance, including Pink Martini, Russian National Orchestra, Nu Deco Ensemble, and the legendary Arturo Sandoval.

The Festival of the Arts Boca is Feb. 28 to March 10. For tickets, call 866/571-2787 or visit

This post is sponsored by The SYMPHONIA

Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly is the editor in chief of at Boca magazine, where she enjoys putting a spotlight on the Boca Raton and Palm Beach County community through both print and digital. Previously, she was the company's web editor. An award-winning journalist, she is the past president of the Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter and a proud graduate of the University of Florida.

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