Costume black, the staple uniform for the distinguished Utah Symphony’s orchestra performers, will be switched for a single night as they don Halloween personas in celebration of this month’s holiday. The upcoming “Halloween Spooktacular on the Seven Seas” on Oct. 25 will be performed by the costume clad orchestra and director Rei Hotoda and the community are joining in.

“This is a huge event,” said Hotoda. “Everyone comes dressed in costume. It is amazing to see the things people come up with.”

Celebrating the spirit of Halloween in the best way possible, the Utah Symphony wants to create a community friendly and engaging event for all to participate in. Though the concert is anticipated primarily by families every year, Hotoda explains that college students are more than welcome and encouraged to attend. “We look forward to seeing our college student friends there as well. Young people are always so enthusiastic and creative.”

“This is a great way for students to get together with friends and do something to celebrate Halloween that isn’t a party or trick or treating,” he added.

img_1905The event offers a much needed respite for many from the typical and widely accepted violently graphic depictions that so often accompany Halloween celebrations (i.e. most things “haunted”). “The hope of this event is to include the community in a family friendly environment and give people the opportunity to celebrate the holiday,” said Hotoda.

The Spooktacular show will help all get into the holiday festivities and relish the happy and fun aspects that are often times over looked with the Halloween holiday, particularly among college students.

“I wanted to create a swashbuckling adventure theme within the concert, something that all could relate to… A standard orchestra repertoire people might be familiar with and turn it into an interesting and acceptable and exciting event to come to,” said Hotoda.

With music from “Hook,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Witches of Eastwick,” the night is full of promise. An added bonus is the costume participation and accompanying prizes.

Coincidentally, the costume contest is the largest running contest in the state. “Everyone dresses in costume, the audience, the orchestra, even myself [the conductor],” said Hotoda.

img_1550Some costume highlights from years past have included a duo dressed as Peter Pan and a joint shadow. “There was also one year when a student dressed as on ostrich. It was amazing.”

At the end of the show the nominees in the costume contest come on stage and the audience votes via applause on the winner.

Sponsors Salt Lake Comic Con and KSL have a slew of prizes they are prepared to award to the costume contest winners. The list of prizes includes Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2017 passes, Living Planet Aquarium passes, a Clark Planetarium family pass and other prizes from The Leonardo, Natural family-friendly attractions more. The costume contest will take place before the show in the main lobby of Abravanel Hall from 5:30-6:30.

“This is a great show for those who have maybe never been to a symphony concert before. It is music that is relatable and fun and it all ties back to Halloween,” said Hotoda.

Tickets can be purchased starting at $12 at


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