Zion Canyon Field Institute Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
Image: mont-alto.com

On Friday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m., Zion Canyon Field Institute will present the silent film “The Vanishing American”—based on the Zane Grey novel—at the Canyon Community Center in Springdale. This year’s screening will feature live musical accompaniment by two members of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. Per last year, there will be a prescreening lecture about the film given by Jeff Crouse.

The performance is part of the Fern and J. L. Crawford Lecture Series. Created by ZCFI director Michael Plyler in 2005, the lecture series’s mission is to present topics and perspectives not specifically limited to the Colorado Plateau.

Of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, the New York Times said, “The results are often breathtakingly beautiful and always in the strict service of the film on the screen.”

The five-piece orchestra is based out of Louisville, Colo. Initially formed as “The Mont Alto Ragtime and Tango Orchestra” in 1989, the quintet comprises piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and cornet and boasts an extensive repertoire of scores which it has compiled for silent films. The group has performed its film scores everywhere from the Lincoln Center in New York and the Telluride Film Festival to the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

The Canyon Community Center located at 134 Lion Blvd. in Springdale. Admission is free, but tickets are required for admission. Tickets are available during regular business hours at the Springdale Town Hall, located just down the road from the Canyon Community Center at 118 Lion Blvd. Any tickets not distributed prior to the event will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis at the door on the night of the event. As this year’s film running time is 110 minutes, there will be a 20-minute intermission to give the musicians a chance to take a break before resuming. For more information, please call (435) 772-3434.

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