Peabody's Occasional Symphony to debut on Halloween night

50-member ensemble will provide soundtrack for silent horror film

The Occasional Symphony will be providing the spooky soundtrack to the classic silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Halloween night in a former church, part of its effort to celebrate diverse holidays by performing imaginative concerts at distinctive venues.

The 50-member symphony, made up largely of students and young alumni of the Peabody Conservatory at The Johns Hopkins University, will give its inaugural performance at 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 at 2640 St. Paul Street, an old church that has been converted into an offbeat concert venue.

As concertgoers enjoy the movie, made in 1920 by German director Robert Wiene, the festively costumed orchestra will premiere music specially written for this event by Baltimore composers Scott Lee and James Young. In addition to the new music, listeners will hear dramatic orchestral favorites including excerpts from Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

The orchestra will be led by conductors Norman Huynh and Stephen Mulligan, who started the Occasional Symphony with five other Baltimore musicians earlier this year. The idea was born after Huynh and Mulligan presented a memorial concert on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 and realized that they wanted to continue to bring people together with music rooted in special occasions, both solemn and festive. The Occasional Symphony also plans to perform in honor of what would have been Dr. Seuss' 109th birthday on March 2 at Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and can be purchased in advance via the Occasional Symphony website or at the door on the night of the performance. Guests are invited to wear costumes.

A video about the Occasional Symphony and its Halloween performance can be seen at

Posted in Arts+Culture, Student Life

Tagged music, film