This is where Murdoc will be tonight

Grand Rapids Symphony brings Middle Earth to town

My wife got us tickets to The Lord of the Rings Symphony for my birthday:

The two-hour program is drawn from Howard Shore’s film scores for director Peter Jackson’s trilogy of Academy Award-winning movies, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King.”

[Richard] Krueger, music director at Messiah Lutheran Church in Plainfield Township, traveled to Chicago last year to see a performance of “The Lord of the Rings Symphony.”

“There was part of me saying, ‘Wouldn’t that be cool, to do it here?'” said Krueger, who sings tenor in the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus.

Friday’s event will be one of the biggest in Grand Rapids Symphony’s history, with some 300 musicians in DeVos Performance Hall.

“The Lord of the Rings Symphony” is a tone poem Shore composed from his 12-hours’ worth of film music.

Accompanied by projections of original concept and storyboard artwork by film designers Alan Lee and John Howe, the program unfolds chronologically, from the peaceful Shire of the hobbits to the dreaded, dark land of Mordor.

I’m not sure what the dress code for this sort of thing is. Do I wear a tie? Elf ears and chainmail? Elf ears and a tie? And where are my fake Hobbit feet when I need them?

UPDATE: It was simply glorious. Probably the most enjoyable evening of live music I’ve ever experienced.


  1. You will never go wrong with basic burlap, and a light coat of dust, get some of those shoe things for you knees and try to look south with one eye and north with the other. Don’t smile.

  2. Ha ha ha. Some notes on symphony etiquette (amoung other things, i’m a classical music buff, and am a serious competitive pianist). 1) Don’t bring a cell, and try to keep talking to a minimal whisper during the performance 2) don’t dress in a tux, no one ever does nowadays, lol, or very rarely at least. A suit is perfectly fine, and many choose to dress a semi-formal manner (nice dress pants and a sweater or something) 3) when the symphony is playing, there may be pauses inbetween things called movements. An actual symphony generally has 3 or 4 movements, sometimes many more, as in (i believe) this case. Watch for the majority of the people. If they clap, then clap. 4) bring some extra cash for a drink in the intermission and for a possible pass the hat to support the musicians. These people generally get paid less than basic soldiers, and their level of education, talent and intelligence is immense, rivalling even doctors. Thus, if there is a silver collection, give a little bit. 5) Don’t be stiff and too formal. Relax, have fun and enjoy the concert! I wish i were you 🙂

  3. Well, this wasn’t my first-ever trip to the symphony. We used to have season tickets for the opera back when we could afford it, and we’ve even been to a couple ballets. And Cats was great. So we aren’t exactly strangers in a strange land. So I wore the tie and left the elf ears at home.

  4. absolutely dean, its actually a study a friend of mine is doing for his masters. Hope you enjoyed (or will enjoy if it hasnt happened yet) the show. Good call on the elf ears, lol