This article is over 6 years old

Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Episode 115: Awakening John Williams’ “Force” With Brett Mitchell

Listen to this episode, you must.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

This episode is full of spoilers – not just spoilers about The Force Awakens, but about future Star Wars episodes. Okay – they could be future spoilers. Right now, they’re just our attempts at trying to find the Easter eggs hidden in John Williams’ new score. This may be the nerdiest and most epic episode of Classical Classroom to date. Brett Mitchell, Associate Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, is your guide through the music of the latest Star Wars episode. He teaches about John Williams as a composer and about important tools of the compositional trade, and reveals how this new music is tied to Williams’ scores for the original films. Mitchell takes no prisoners, and does not care for Ewoks. Prepare for hyperdrive.

Jedi maestro, Brett Mitchell.
Photo by Gregg Barckholtz, with a small addition by Dacia Clay.
Jedi maestro, Brett Mitchell.

Music for the episode:

  • “Ride of the Valkyries.” From The Ring Cycle, by Richard Wagner.
  • Music from the original motion picture scores for
    • Star Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace
    • Star Wars: Episode 4, A New Hope
    • Star Wars: Episode 7, The Force Awakens

Audio production by X-Wing pilot Todd “Dameron” Hulslander with lightsaber sounds by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.

Many thanks to Angela “Organa” Mitchell, Randy Davis, and Al Dahlhausen at WCLV for their help with this episode!

Like this episode? Check out Classical Classroom, Episode 4: Leitmotif In Star Wars, also featuring Brett Mitchell!