Star Wars: The Music


Joe Broom, Euphonium – Davidson Fellow

WILLIAMS Suite from Star Wars

COSMA Concerto for Euphonium and Orchestra

HOLST The Planets, op. 32

Take a trip across the universe with Maestro Laura Jackson, Davidson Institute Fellow Joe Broom, and the Reno Phil. Close your eyes and picture Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia during John Williams’ rousing, iconic score from Star Wars. Rocket across the solar system with The Planets, Gustav Holst’s monumental work that inspired Williams and influenced generations of others by creating an out of this world sonic experience.

Music Director Laura Jackson conducts the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and offers a pre-concert talk one hour before the concert on Sunday and one half-hour before the concert on Tuesday. In this preview, she discusses the works and composers on the evening’s concert, giving attendees a background and historical context for the music they will hear. Preview talk is at 3:00 PM Sunday in the concert hall and at 7:00 PM Tuesday in the exhibition hall. Seating for the preview is general admission, first-come first served.


  • “The Imperial Death March” within John Williams’ Suite from Star Wars was influenced by Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 (nicknamed the Funeral March) and Holst’s The Planets, specifically the movement “Mars, the Bringer of War.”
  • The euphonium (which will be played by guest artist Joe Broom) is a part of the brass family of instruments. It is occasionally confused with the baritone horn. The instrument is more common in bands than orchestras, but it is featured in Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and Holst’s The Planets.
  • Holst played trombone as he was unable to support himself by composition alone. He played under the baton of Strauss in 1897.
  • Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was one of Holst’s best friends. The two served as important critics of each other’s works throughout life.