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Master organist, IU alumnus Dennis James to accompany 'Phantom' silent film at IU Auditorium

What: Dennis James Hosts Halloween
When: Thursday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Where: IU Auditorium
Tickets: $8-$16 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and children and $14-$19 for general public, on sale now. Individual tickets may be purchased online at IUauditorium.com, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 13, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University alumnus Dennis James returns to Bloomington for his annual Halloween organ performance, this year accompanying the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

James, Dennis
Dennis James

Audience members who arrive by 7:05 p.m. will be eligible to compete in the annual B97-sponsored costume contest. Prizes will be awarded to four winners. This year's prizes are vouchers to Paoli Peaks, tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo, a $40 gift certificate to Scotty's Brewhouse and a $50 gift certificate to Applebee's.

The Phantom of the Opera (starring Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin) is based on a novel written by Gaston Leroux. The film takes place in the Paris Opera House, where a haunting phantom forces prima donna Carlotta (Mary Fabian) out of the limelight and launches the stardom of the young Christine Daae (Philbin). The Phantom roams the secret tunnels of the opera house, wreaking havoc in hopes of winning Christine's affection.

James attended IU in the 1960s as a student in the Jacobs School of Music and began his annual Halloween organ performance at his alma mater five years ago. During the Vietnam War, James first played organ along to The Phantom of the Opera for fellow students at IU in 1969 to ease tensions on campus.

James is an in-demand solo performer and research fellow with the University of South Carolina and has been a major part of the revival of silent films and live music.

"Dennis James' musical talents enhance the creepiness of his carefully selected silent films, as each story elevates and unfolds with each organ keystroke," said IU Auditorium Director Doug Booher. "He takes great pride in reviving original silent scores, and the Bloomington community has embraced this event as a vital part of its annual Halloween celebration."

Before the performance will be a special pre-show talk by Rika Asai, an adjunct lecturer for music in the Jacobs School's Music in General Studies Department. Asai, who specializes in film music, will discuss the pervasiveness of music in the silent film era at 6 p.m. in Neal-Marshall Bridgewater Lounge at 6 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

For more information on Dennis James Hosts Halloween and all 2011-2012 season shows at IU Auditorium, visit IUauditorium.com. The Web site features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to IU Auditorium's Facebook Fan and Twitter pages, whose members receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

Dennis James Hosts Halloween is sponsored by the IU Foundation and IU Alumni Association. IU Auditorium's 2011-2012 season is present by Curry Auto Center, B97, the Herald-Times, IU Document Service Center and IU Residential Programs and Services.