Through twisting alleys, past foggy forests, and onto the grounds of the world’s premier wizard academy–the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is journeying into the Music of Harry Potter. After navigating the halls of the castle with Harry Potter, the adventure continues with music from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Fast Facts

Piecing It Together

The music for the Harry Potter films has quickly become some the most recognizable and successful film music of all time. It has reached this status despite the fact four different composers contributed their music to the films. John Williams laid a foundation of themes and motifs for Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat to draw from in the later films as the story progressed. “Hedwig’s Theme,” which was written by John Williams, has come to be thought of as the main theme for the Harry Potter. The theme was the starting point for James Newton Howard when composing music for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Newton Howard’s music remains in a similar sonic world as the Harry Potter films despite the storylines being unrelated mirroring how the two movie franchises both exsist in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.


In one of the most iconic sequences from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry is sent letter after letter from Hogwarts while the Dursley family keeps Harry locked in the cupboard under the stairs. Owls come from all directions delivering handwritten letters which were made by props department not once, but twice. The first set of handwritten letters had to be thrown out since they were too heavy for the owls to carry and be able to fly. Thousands of letters were rewritten to ensure Harry got to Hogwarts in time.

Pre-concert Activities

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

Pre-concert activities begin at 6:30 PM

  • Photo Scavenger Hunt
  • Live owl (courtesy of Leslie Science Center)

Sunday, March 17th, 2019 (Family Matinée)

Pre-concert activities begin at 2:30 PM 

  • Hands-On Museum
  • Instrument Petting Zoo
  • Photo Scavenger Hunt
  • Live owl (courtesy of Leslie Science Center)
  • Owl Post Writing Station

Further listening

Year when the first Harry Potter book hit the shelves

Barred owls at the concert

Hidden Items in the Michigan Theater