Disney and the Hollywood Bowl

Disney and the Hollywood Bowl 641 536 Sheridon Stokes

In 1964 I became Ist flute with the Disney orchestra and played many movies and TV shows with them until it was disbanded as a regular orchestra about 10 years later. One of the reasons I got hired, was because in 1955 I did a spot with Carla Alberghetti (soprano) with the “Mickey Mouse Club” as a flute obbligatoist.

One of the composers at Disney, Frank Marks, remembered the show and recommended me. He later wrote a concert solo piece for flute and strings. Most of the composers only wrote film music. He seemed delighted when I asked him to write a solo piece for flute. Hollywood composers were very hesitant to write concert music, concert music, no matter how successful they were. It was not their medium. Frank Marks, composer at Disney Studios, said that for him it was easier to write when he had a film to write for. He also said you could write any difficult technical passage for the flute as opposed to other instruments.

hollywood bowlIn the mid 60s I was a soloist on “Explosante-Fixe” by Pierre Boulez at the Hollywood Bowl. There were 4 soloists, each on a platform in the audience. The work started with a 10 minute flute solo that filtered through a sound machine brought over from Germany. The solo bounced around in an altered fashion all over the Hollywood Bowl.