My oh my, what a wonderful night… sort of. Nostalgia, laughter and tears swept the Haugh Performing Arts Center Oct. 13 with Disney classics dating as far back as 1947. Though creativity in song performance was not present, overall it was a delightful concert. Citrus College’s Sierra Wind Symphony and Concert Choir opened the annual concert, this year titled “When You Wish,” with a compilation that rivaled the Disneyland background music that creates theme park magic between rides. From “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” to scores from Pixar’s “Planes,” the performance displayed a delightful variety of Disney hits, old and new. In spite of the big smiles from recognizing childhood classics like “A Spoonful Of Sugar,” from “Mary Poppins” or “Dark Side of the Moon,” from “Mulan,” there were a large amount of missed opportunities from the choir. The only solo offered was during Aladdin’s “One Jump Ahead.” With nothing against the soloist, who performed his part well, there was no soloist for “Mulan’s” “Reflection,” for “Mary Poppins'” “Super‐cali‐fragil‐istic‐expi‐ali‐docious,” (yes, that is the correct spelling), or even “Aladdin’s” “A Whole New World.” What was more annoying was the blatant disregard for “Mulan’s” plot of a strong woman disguising herself as a man to fight in a war. The choir had only men sing “Dark Side of the Moon” and “A Girl Worth Fighting For,” without any acknowledgement to the story line or the soloist opportunities available in both songs.
At times the choir came in at odd points, not always starting from the beginning with the band, creating a jolt instead of smooth transition into each story. The film used between songs to create some Disney magic must have been left over from the late ’80s or early ’90s. Though in some occasions these helped preserve the nostalgia, it also left no transitions for newer movies such as “Planes.” There were also moments when the video between the songs did not match up with the upcoming songs, a trend the show had set for itself. At one point, an explanation of the revolutionary computer design combined with storyboards that went into “Beauty and the Beast” was the intro to “Mary Poppins,” with “Beauty and the Beast” songs not appearing till later. However, quick run throughs of each movie were projected during respective songs and the visual reminder combined with the sound of childhood memories was enough to evoke tears and laughter. This added some spark and the weird timing and strange informational videos were sometimes easy to forget. Choosing the Pixar movie “Planes” as a musical score to perform for this show also seemed like a strange decision. Of all Pixar movies, this one was the least memorable. Other Pixar movies with music that would have fit the old classic timeline, and would have been more captivating include but are not limited to are “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Up” or “Cars.” The song choices were clear favorites of the crowd. Proof was in from both adults and children singing along to join the choir and tapping their feet. Disney is supposed to represent fun, singing and dancing and in spite of its shortcomings, Night of Music From Film still delivered the fond memories everyone knows and loves. The next Sierra Wind Symphony and Concert Choir show will be a free joint concert with the Azusa Pacific University Wind Ensemble called Winds and Dances. For more information visit the HPAC website or call the box-office at 626-963-9411.