The Florida Orchestra celebrates 100 years of the Tramp

The musicians provide accompaniment to Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush tonight.

Charlie Chaplin wasn’t just a pioneer of silent films. He used film to tell stories with humanity, to lampoon society’s inequities and celebrate the underdog. The actor and filmmaker was also a musician and composer, so he knew how to convey emotion through his scores. The Florida Orchestra is taking Chaplin’s lead this weekend, celebrating the 100th anniversary of his hobo leading man by performing a live accompaniment of his film The Gold Rush with screenings taking place at Tampa Theatre tonight, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m., and tomorrow., March 1, at the Palladium Theatre.

According to the Florida Orchestra spokesperson Henry Adams, the Orchestra has a unique set of challenges for the Chaplin film.

With the guidance of Ernest Richardson, guest conductor, the musicians have to closely follow the storyline and pranks and pratfalls, etc., synchronizing percussion sounds — “not so free as interpreting an orchestral work at a normal concert,” he added.

Other than the usual winds and strings, the orchestra will incorporate sleigh bells, temple blocks, wooden spoons, a glockenspiel and a Lion’s Roar — a drum head with a cord pulled through it to give a Lion-like roar.


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