Grand Rapids Symphony to play music from “Star Wars: A Force Awakens”

The Grand Rapids Symphony will be one of the first orchestras to play music from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The performance will be part of the show “Star Wars & More: The Music of John Williams,” which will finish off the 2015-16 Fox Motor Pops Series.

The songs “March of the Resistance” and “Rey’s Theme” from the most-recent Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens,” will be played. Also being featured is “Imperial March” from the original Stars Wars 1977 film and “Anakin’s Theme” from “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”

“It’s among the most fun concerts I get to do in my life,” said Conductor Bob Bernhardt.

The legendary John Williams won five Oscars, three Golden Globes and 17 Grammys, and composed all of these songs. Besides Star Wars, he composed music for many films and TV shows, including “Harry Potter” and “Jurassic World.”

Beginning in 2015, Bob Bernhardt, who has been a music conductor for over 35 years, became the Grand Rapids Principal Pops Conductor. Currently, he is in his 19th season as the principal pops conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. Bernhardt is also artist-in-residence at Lee University and is now in his fourth season as music director emeritus and principal pops conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.

Bernhardt has been a frequent guest conductor at the Boston Pops for several years. He first conducted there in 1992 at the invitation of John Williams. His longtime connection to Williams led the Grand Rapids Symphony to be among the first orchestras to play music from the new Star Wars film.

“He’s my hero,” said Bernhardt when speaking of Williams.

Other songs to be played include “Somewhere in my Memory” from “Home Alone” and “Hymn to the Fallen” from “Saving Private Ryan,” as well as songs from “Hook” and “Superman.”

“It’s going to be fun from start to finish, and you know the music is going to be brilliant,” Bernhardt said.

During the 2016-2017 season, Grand Rapids Pops will be one of the first orchestras to perform live music from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” while screening the film.

Performances of “Star Wars & More” will kick off tonight May 6 at 8 p.m. at the DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. Performances will also be tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 8, at 3 p.m.

Tickets start at $5 for students and $18 for adults. To purchases tickets, visit or call the Grand Rapids Symphony at (616) 454-9451.