Boise Philharmonic keeps silent films alive

Posted at 6:58 PM, Feb 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-18 20:58:22-05

At the Egyptian Theater in downtown Boise, the Boise Philharmonic plays along to the silver screen of years gone by, adding the soundtracks to silent films. 

"Anytime you can bring together a larger group of musicians that can have more of an interactive almost symphonic experience in the movie hall just like you would go to a regular film and hear a full orchestral soundtrack. It's great, it's fantastic," said Boise Philharmonic Music Director, Eric Garcia.
For over a decade The Boise Philharmonic has taken over the Egyptian Theater for a day to shine a light on these old films and please the crowd with their music. 

Their recent performance on Saturday was sold out. While the movie may be old, the musicians are giving them a new life by teaming up with organist and historian Ben Model. The New York composer has partnered with the Philharmonic for years to play on the Egyptian Theater's original organ. For him, tickling the ivories here is like taking a step back in time. 

"Folks who get to hear it, hear what people heard in 1927 and this theater and this instrument are a state treasure," said organist and historian, Ben Model.

For Ben and Boise Philharmonic Music Director, Eric Garcia, they're not just shining a light on silent film, but music. It's a labor of love they are happy to share with the City of Trees. 

"We are one of the few people still doing this, and I'm just so appreciative to our audience that they want to be part of it," said Garcia.