John Williams is a legend in his own time. His music is known and loved by people all over the world. His REACH is astounding! His music has the power to create memories and pull them back whenever people hear his music again. His music has brought dinosaurs to life, made bicycles fly, made the FORCE real, helped heroes win battles, made Christmas magical, and still makes people afraid of sharks with two single notes.
In July 1977, I remember standing in an extremely long line winding around a couple of city blocks on a hot, humid night in Alexandria, Virginia trying to explain to my Dad how much he would enjoy seeing "Star Wars." I tried to sing him what I remembered from the title theme. I wanted him to have the same kind of powerful memory from seeing "Star Wars" that I had after seeing it the week before in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I think about or hear this music, I can instantly feel, see, hear, smell, taste, and almost touch those memories from back in 1977. That music is so powerful to me.
Fall 1977 was the start of my last year in the Music Department at BYU. As part of my studies, I worked on some modern avant garde music. I actually was assigned as a vocalist to one of the composer lab classes. Student composers were to demonstrate proficiency in writing in the various styles they were studying. My job was to sight-sing their new experimental music. I was a good sight-singer, so I was valuable to the lab, but I tended to scratch my head at some of the antics they made me do. None of those pieces would be appreciated beyond music elitist circles, I was absolutely sure. None would have the REACH and POWER that the film and concert music of John Williams would.
If I could, I would certainly thank John Williams personally for the impact his music has had in my life. I am so grateful that I got to sing several great John Williams pieces as a member of the Tabernacle Choir. Such a thrill to think I have a legitimate link to my musical idol! Happy 90th Birthday, sir!