Magical night at El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s Harry Potter Concert


Annabella Mireles

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in Concert collaborated with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra during their sold-out show Nov. 13.

Alyson Rodriguez, Staff Reporter

Wizards and muggles came together to experience the El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in concert. The magical concert took place at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 13 at The Plaza Theatre. 

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra was led by conductor James Welsch, Ph.D., who used to be the music director of the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra and the assistant music director of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. He is currently in Orlando, Florida working as the musical director at the youth symphony orchestra, and he came back to El Paso to direct this concert.  

Audience members were dressed up in their best Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff uniforms to commemorate the occasion. Attendees were also dressed in costumes of their favorite Harry Potter characters such as Alastor Moody, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy, Lord Voldemort, Rubeus Hagrid and of course Harry Potter.  

The orchestra played alongside the first movie of the Harry Potter franchise, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” which came out in 2001. The movie follows an 11-year-old orphan named Harry Potter who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin who constantly abuse him. On his birthday Harry discovers that his deceased parents are wizards, and he is also a wizard. He then attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry tries to navigate the wizarding world and his first year at Hogwarts in this movie. Along the way he makes friends with Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and the three try to solve the mystery of the Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter’s arch nemesis Lord Voldemort was also introduced in this movie.  

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  • First Violin performing during the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in concert performance.

  • James Welsch, Ph.D. conducts the El Paso Symphony Orchestra for the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in Concert performance.

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The concert was a sold-out show and everyone in attendance enjoyed the ambiance the orchestra created with their beautiful music. The crowd went wild when the symphony orchestra started playing the well-known intro song that all “potter heads” know.  

“My favorite part of the show was definitely listening to the music,” said Rebecca Saucedo, an attendee of the concert. “I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I have read all of the books and have seen all of the movies multiple times. Seeing the first movie like this made me feel as magical as I did the first time I saw the movie. This was an incredible experience, and I would definitely come back for the second movie if they have it.” 

People in the audience were very interactive throughout the show as well. Audience members cheered when fan favorites like Hagrid and Professor Minerva McGonagall appeared on the screen. Everyone booed when the scenes of Harry’s cousin, Dudley, were showing. When the sorting hat announced that Harry was going to be in the Gryffindor house with Hermione and Ron, the theatre erupted into applause and cheers.  

“I love going to the Plaza Theatre and hearing the orchestra live was phenomenal,” said Harry Potter concert attendee, Oscar Sanchez. “I’m a big fan of John William’s work, so getting the chance to hear any of his works live is great. I’m not a diehard Harry Potter fan but it was fun to participate in all of the cheering and booing.” 

The symphony orchestra had a lot of fun playing for such an interactive crowd. It showed in their crescendos and decrescendos throughout the concert.   

“This was an opportunity to try something new,” said El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director, Ruth Ellen Jacobson. “We did this type of show with the movie Coco a couple of years ago and we wanted to do it again. The audience got into it, and it was lot of fun.” 

To find out more information on future concerts visit 

Alyson Rodriguez is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter.