Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra celebrates 50 years of James Bond

By William Baird

James Bond fans gathered at the Bass Performance Hall to reminisce as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra played iconic songs from popular spy movies.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra hosted a three-day show at Bass Hall on 525 Commerce St from March 31 to April 2, celebrating 50 years of James Bond films along with several other classic movies.

“007: The Music of James Bond” is a new traveling show that began touring in August of last year.  It showcases 20 of the most famous songs from various James Bond films along with songs from popular spy movies like Pink Panther, Austin Powers and Mission Impossible.

“Its great to see so many people come to the Symphony,” said Jeremy Reynolds, the press and publications manager for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. “While it’s important to have a healthy mix of traditional and contemporary music, it’s always rewarding when we hit on a program that strikes a chord with Fort Worth.”

Over the past five or 10 years orchestras have started branching away and creating pop series, allowing for a wider range of guests, Reynolds said.

Composer Stuart Malina.
Composer Stuart Malina.

In the 10 concerts played each year, six or seven of them will be pop concerts.

“We’re season ticket holders but this was one of our favorites for the season for reminiscing and remembering all the James Bond movies,” said Donna Tapscott, an attendee of the concert.

Rachel York, the traveling vocalist.
Rachel York, the traveling vocalist.

A lot of pop series concerts are pre-packaged with their own predetermined set of songs and a vocalist or composer and then marketed to various orchestras around the world, said Reynolds.

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra was contacted about eight months before the show was scheduled six months ago.

This performance followed a Ray Charles tribute and a movie screening of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial with the orchestra playing in sync to the film.

The schedule for the upcoming season was announced before the first performance Friday night.