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A Human Element: Wichita Symphony Offers Unique Exprience For 'E.T.' Fans

Universal Studios

Steven Spielberg's masterpiece E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is one of the most beloved films ever made, and ranks No. 4 all-time in box office adjusted for inflation. This weekend, the Wichita Symphony will perform John Williams' Oscar-winning score for E.T. live while the movie itself is projected on a giant screen for the audience.

KMUW's Fletcher Powell spoke with Jacob Rensink, a French horn player in the symphony, about what it's like to have a chance to be a part of such an important piece of movie history.

Interview Highlights

On the pressure to perform such a loved piece of music:

Credit Courtesy
Jacob Rensink

"There's a sense of urgency to get it correct, to do the score justice, and to provide that experience for the audience... And for me, personally, with John Williams, anything of his in particular, because of that... love of that music, I want to get everything right. I want to make sure everything is as correct as it can be, so I want to be sure that I am performing at the highest level in particular for this music."

On the unique experience of hearing a movie score performed live:

"The way you're going to perform is going to be slightly different every time you do it. So this experience is going to be completely different from another experience that you might get in San Antonio or Albuquerque, Chicago, just to name a few... They are able to provide you a film without the score... so we are providing that element, which is what makes it completely unique.

"Because we, as the Wichita Symphony, have a different take than what it might sound like with the London Symphony or the L.A. Philharmonic."

Fletcher Powell has worked at KMUW since 2009 as a producer, reporter, and host. He's been the host of All Things Considered since 2012 and KMUW's movie critic since 2016. Fletcher is a member of the Critics Choice Association.