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James Fellenbaum, director of UT’s orchestras and resident conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, will present a lecture about the famous music of Raiders of the Lost Ark at 12:40 p.m. Thursday, January 11.

His talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center.

The event coincides with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Raiders of the Lost Ark in Concert, which will be presented at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 13, at Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Tickets for the concert are available online.

The score of the 1981 Steven Spielberg film was composed and conducted by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist whose other works include the scores of Jaws, the Star Wars series, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman: The Movie, E.T., Schindler’s List, and some of the Home Alone, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter movies.

During the lecture, scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark will be shown as Fellenbaum explains how the music impacts and changes each scene.

“There are many aspects to why John Williams’s music is so special, but mainly the way he does it—the way he uses memorable themes to help the audience identify with the characters throughout a film, the way he writes such thrilling action music, and the way he uses the orchestra to create an incredible range of sounds,” Fellenbaum said. “His music not only helps tell the story, but oftentimes tells the story by itself.

Raiders is one of the most iconic and well known movie scores in history and has given us one of the most recognizable tunes, that famous Raiders March.”

Visitors who park downtown can ride KAT’s Orange Line trolley to campus; visitors who park in Volunteer Hall can ride the T’s Fort Line bus or walk to the event.


Landin Lynd (865-974-8935,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,