A John Williams Experience

On a bright Wednesday morning, eighty of my colleagues and I walked into a performance hall warmed up and ready to sing. Not an odd thing for Cal State Fullerton choirs to do but this time was different. This time, it wasn’t our conductor up at the podium but John Williams himself along with some of the finest musicians in Los Angeles. It was a humbling and honoring feeling to realize that we had been invited to this session too.

As we took our places, the orchestra was just finishing up a rehearsal of the noble “Hymn to the Fallen” from Saving Private Ryan, one of the pieces we would be recording. After giving some musical notes to the orchestra, Maestro Williams turned his attention to us to give a warm welcome. Quick and efficient we ran through the piece once then recorded and that was done. What amazed me was that the recorded run through sounded like we had been rehearsing together for weeks, not five minutes.