Grand Rapids Symphony's audiences go wild for Harry Potter in DeVos Hall

Harry Potter came to town, and Pottermania descended on Grand Rapids.

Your Grand Rapids Symphony welcomed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to DeVos Performance Hall this past weekend, the first movie in the Harry Potter Film Concert Series.

More than 7,000 muggles came to three sold-out performances of the original 2001 film on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28, 2017.

It was a magical experience any way you slice it. See our recap of the weekend's performances.

The Sorcerer’ Stone was absolutely phenomenal,” said Jessica Kirchen Lyons, on the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Facebook page. “Thank you for such a memorable experience”

“I was in tears most of the performance,” added Linda Stouf on Facebook. “Our GRS is absolutely terrific! The talent is so deep!”

Grand Rapids Symphony's 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'

Many came early and stood in line to get a free magic wand at Ollivanders – remember, the wand choses the wizard, not the other way around.

Harry Potter fans lined up for free photos of themselves with a Sorting Hat.

DeVos Hall sold butterbeer, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and ran out of supplies before the night was over.

Harry Potter merchandise, including T-shirts, scarfs, books and wands, sold like hotcakes before and after the show as well as during intermission.

Guest conductor Nicholas Buc, the master of ceremonies for the evening, revved up the audience at each show before diving into John Williams’ Academy Award-nominated score.

Based on audience applause, many in the audience identified strongly with each of the four houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin.

“We encourage significant displays of house pride,” Buc said at each show.

Projected in HD on a 40-foot screen with all of the dialogue and sound effects intact, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was accompanied by the Grand Rapids Symphony playing the musical score live.

“So much better with live music than in the theater,” said Jennifer Arnold on Facebook. “I heard musical parts I never heard when I watched the movie in the theater.”

If you missed the fun, you can relive the adventurers of Harry, Ron and Hermione next year.

The Grand Rapids Pops next season welcomes the next two films in the Harry Potter franchise back to DeVos Hall.

See Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Sept. 29-30 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Feb. 9-10, 2018. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday for both.

“This muggle can’t wait for the next two movies,” said Matthew Makowski on Facebook.

Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at 8:00 AM

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