SC Philharmonic presents Halloween at Hogwarts


Popular family-friendly Halloween concert matinee returns to Columbia

The South Carolina Philharmonic presents Halloween at Hogwarts on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 3:00 PM at the Koger Center for the Arts. This family-friendly concert matinee will be under the baton of guest conductor Antoine T. Clark. The SC Philharmonic will turn the Koger Center into that famous school of witchcraft and wizardry, with fun activities in the lobby during pre-show. The program includes plenty of music from the popular Harry Potter films, alongside spooky classical fare like Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” Greig’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Tickets may be purchased by visiting or by calling the Koger Center Box Office at 803-251-2222.

Though Music Director Morihiko Nakahara usually conducts the Halloween-themed concert, the conductor’s schedule made that an impossibility this year. Nakahara was thrilled to enlist the talents of Antoine T. Clark for this season’s installment, and to welcome this nationally-celebrated maestro to Columbia, SC to lead the SC Philharmonic during this program.

Clark is excited to work with the SC Phil for the first time. “Nothing beats the thrill of performing great music with a fantastic community of musicians for the first time,” said Clark. “Rehearsing and collaborating with a new orchestra on a vision for the performance is exciting and allows the musicians and me to get to know each other musically, developing a relationship that serves the music.”

Compelling interpretations, inventive performances and an energetic stage presence are the hallmarks of Mr. Clark. The founding Artistic and Music Director of the Worthington Chamber Orchestra in Ohio (formerly McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, established in 2013), Clark was recently appointed Associate Conductor of West Virginia’s Wheeling Symphony Orchestra after serving as Assistant Conductor since 2021. A passionate advocate of arts education, in 2022, he served as Cincinnati Symphony’s MAC Music Innovator. The program, which highlights leading African American classical musicians who embody artistry, innovation, and commitment to education and community engagement, saw Clark leading chamber music and orchestral performances throughout the community during his residency.

Clark’s program for the concert is an engaging mix of popular themes from the Harry Potter films, alongside accessible classical fare that fits snugly into the Halloween theme. “I am most excited to revisit The Witches’ Sabbath from Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique,” said Clark. “As a former principal clarinetist, I fell in love with Berlioz’s fantastical symphony many years ago. As a conductor, the symphony was at the top of my bucket list of pieces to lead. Last season, I enjoyed conducting the work in my debut with the Dayton Philharmonic in Ohio. I am thrilled to revisit the symphony with the musicians of the SC Philharmonic. I believe the audience will agree that The Witches’ Sabbath is the perfect spooky music for the Halloween season.”

Halloween at Hogwarts returned to the Koger Center last season after a brief hiatus due to venue closures. The 2022 installment was the organization’s most successful concert at the Koger Center last year – with ticket sales far exceeding projections. The combination of familiar music from the Harry Potter films with equally recognizable works from the classical cannon continues to make this concert an accessible entry point into classical music for Midlands families. The SC Phil collaborates with Steve Borders (Koger Center Technical Director) to elevate the concert with exciting stage lighting that brings the music to life through color and movement.

This concert furnishes pre-concert family fun in the lobby by providing Hogwarts-themed activities. Audience members can get their very own lighting bolt on their head, engage and learn about amazing creatures through a partnership with Carolina Wildlife, or grab one of the “Have You Seen This Wizard?” frames for a photo op with family and friends. Costumes are highly encouraged.

Halloween at Hogwarts will be presented on Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 3:00 PM at the Koger Center for the Arts. This event is in-person only. Tickets are priced based on availability. Audiences do not have to buy tickets in the house that they were assigned to by the sorting hat. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling the Koger Center Box Office at 803-251-2222.

This concert is sponsored by Aflac and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

The South Carolina Philharmonic is committed to performing live symphonic music and providing dynamic educational opportunities in the Midlands. We carry forward a legacy of passion for the music and embrace our responsibility to be a vibrant part of the cultural fabric of our diverse community.

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