Costumes Draw Crowds to Utah Symphony Spooktacular

The Utah Symphony had a “Spooktacular” success at their annual Halloween concert and costume contest on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

The production “Halloween Spooktacular on the Seven Seas!” was a hit on many different levels. The music was engaging and adventurous. The costume aspect of the night easily elevated the event to must-attend status.

Conductor Rei Hotoda donned a pirate persona as she led her orchestra through a series of adventure filled pieces. “Flight to Neverland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean Suite” and “Devil’s Dance” from “The Witches of Eastwick” were popular numbers, the costume-clad orchestra members adding to the ambiance and theme of the night.

Danny Soulier, one the night’s percussion performers who graduated from the U with a degree in performing arts, said, “This concert is a great time. It’s fun for the audience and the symphony to be a little relaxed and enjoy the music.”

This take on the event is one that is shared by many people.  “I love the themed concerts. I’m not super into classical music or the symphony, but these are great to come to,” said Justin Denison, an attendee of the event.

One thing that was truly staggering about the event was the variety and sheer number of different costumes present; from witches to movie characters, to couple outfits to an entire family who created a replica of “California Screamin,” appropriately dubbed “Salt Lake Screamin,” people made sure the costume judges had a wide range to see on display.

In fact, it was the costume aspect that drew plenty of people to the symphony performance in the first place. “I like dressing up and having an excuse to do it as an adult,” said Carrie Denison, whose bear costume was matched to that of her husband’s hunter get-up.

Jamie Walker had a similar experience, dressed as a witch: “Dressing up was a huge draw for me,” she said.

Sara Marple, a student at the U, came with her two roommates as the characters from Hocus Pocus. “My roommate made everything by hand,” she said, proving the full creativity some attendees employed into their work. About the music itself, she added, “We are really excited about this event because it is music we have actually heard of.”

Tyler Grenko, a college student, came with his family to the event as an elaborately disguised Klingon quartet. “We dress up for this and for Comic Con,” said Grenko. He and his family were later named as one of the night’s costume contest finalists in the group category.

Finalists were selected in three groups: child, adult and group. They were chosen by representatives from KSL and Comic Con. The finalists were then brought on stage in the second act and winners were chosen based on audience applause.

Following the contest, the symphony resumed their performance and ended on an incredibly dramatic and enjoyable note.

“This is a great cultural experience. Students would appreciate the music and the dressing up,” said Ellis Call, a junior at the U. “It is family oriented, but students would really love this. I love it.”

l.randall@dailyutahchronicle.com