WT Symphony Orchestra to Perform New Score with Screening of Classic Silent Film

Chip Chandler

Photo provided by WT Communication and Marketing

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]

Live Cinema Concert to Showcase Locally Written Soundtrack for Chaplin’s ‘The Kid’ 

CANYON, Texas — One of the classic films of the silent era will come to life in a screening featuring an orchestral score specially written for the West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra will give a synchronized performance of a score written by WT’s own Dr. B.J. Brooks with a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” at 7:30 p.m. May 6 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall on WT’s Canyon campus.

The student musicians will then take the film on the road for a series of performances: 7:30 p.m. May 10 at the La Rita Theatre, 311 Denrock Ave. in Dalhart; 7:30 p.m. May 11 at the Mesquite Arts Center, 1527 N. Galloway Ave. in Mesquite; and 7 p.m. May 12 in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 3471 Westheimer Road in Houston.

All concerts are free.

The Dalhart performance is made possible by the Louise C. and Gene F. Rahll Endowment for WT’s Showcase in a Suitcase program.

Since beginning its live cinema series in 2006, the WT Symphony Orchestra has performed soundtracks with other classics from the silent era, including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Iron Mask,” “The Mark of Zorro” and “City Lights.”

“Silent films were not intended to be heard without music, so prior to the successful production of film with sound in the late 1920s, theaters employed musicians to provide accompaniment,” said Dr. Mark Bartley, director of orchestral activities, the Lilith Brainard Professor of Music and associate director of the School of Music. “Our Live Cinema series allows us to revisit that era with music specifically written for the action on the screen.”

For “The Kid,” Brooks said he watched the film without any soundtrack, improvising themes on the piano as he watched how Chaplin developed the characters, keying in on the moods and feelings that the director wanted to convey.

“This will be the third time our orchestra perform this score, and it’s always a pleasure to hear it again,” Brooks said. “I really don’t remember every detail because I’ve written several hundred pieces since then, so there are always some happy surprises when I hear it being performed again.”

“The Kid” was Chaplin’s first full-length feature film and was a major success, finishing 1921 as the second-highest grossing film of the year and catapulting its young lead, Jackie Coogan, into superstardom.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $110 million.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.




Tour Roster

First Violin 

Joely Crawford, Amarillo

Josenir Junior, Criciuma, Brazil

Jose Forero, Bogota, Colombia

Tatiana Kolesnik, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Hollie Williams, Kress


Second Violin 

Cassidy DeMarais, Rockwall

Sydney Buckner, Amarillo

Raiden Fore, Amarillo

Michelle Truong, Houston

Sarah Boydston, Amarillo

Matthew Loyd, Pampa



Mia Brandyberry, Amarillo

Jasmin Caldera, Amarillo 

Vesselin Todorov, WT Faculty

Susan Milligan, WT Alumna

Robert Hansen, WT Faculty



Anthony Newton, Lubbock

Noah Johnson, Amarillo

Bethany Mueller, Amarillo

Tristan Tilman, Alamogordo, NM


Double Bass 

Emily Arciniega, McKinney

Kortni VanDamme, Amarillo



Ruben Najera, Jr, Alice

Alejandra Mulgado, Clovis, NM



Tobin Brooks, Canyon

Abigail Hite, Nashville, TN


Rachel Stansell, Midland

Dayton Scholz, Amarillo


Meghan Brooks, Canyon

Katherine Clark, Canyon



Morgan Hite, Nashville, TN

Bailee Rettig, Brenham

Christopher Santiago, Odessa

Landon Proffitt, Andrews



Emily Sotelo, Midland

Payne Morris, Odessa



Corey Nance, Carrollton

Abraham Wood, Floresville


Bass Trombone 

Justin Slaughter, Odessa



Lucas Martinez, Denton



Noah Bradshaw, Joshua

Hien Doan, Amarillo


Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.