Arts News

Chandelier at Dallas' Winspear Opera House gets a new theme song

Chandelier at Dallas' Winspear Opera House gets a new theme song

Winspear Opera House chandelier
"The Lights are Rising" in the Winspear. Photo by Carter Rose
Damoyee Janai Neroes
Composer and student Damoyee Janai Neroes. Photo by Carter Rose
Damoyee Janai Neroes and the Booker T. Washington orchestra
Neroes and the Booker T. Washington orchestra. Photo by Carter Rose
Composer Damoyee Janai Neroes
Twelve students spent a semester learning about commercial composing. Photo by Carter Rose
Winspear Opera House chandelier
Damoyee Janai Neroes
Damoyee Janai Neroes and the Booker T. Washington orchestra
Composer Damoyee Janai Neroes

The fancy levitating chandelier at the Winspear Opera House has a new theme song — and it's one that's composed and performed by students at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

According to a release from the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the new tune is called "The Lights Are Rising." It was composed by Booker T. Washington High School senior Damoyee Janai Neroes and recorded by the school's orchestra students.

Neroes' composition will replace an exclusive adaptation of "The Light" by Philip Glass, which has accompanied the ascent since 2013.

If you've been to the Winspear, you know that the opera house makes a very big deal about the chandelier.

You're sitting in your seat, waiting for the show to begin with an air of anticipation. Amid the pre-show murmur, your eyes alight upon the spectacular chandelier, reigning imperially over the audience with its regal twinkle.

A few minutes prior to each performance, it rises into the ceiling. Pouf! So ephemeral.

It is possibly even the most exciting part of seeing a show at the Winspear. Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, legendary shows such as these pale compared to the chandelier ascent.

It has 318 LED acrylic light rods, extended in a tapered position, with the longest rod stretching 40 feet. Once it's fully recessed, the chandelier mimics twinkling stars in the night sky.

The release says that the chandelier is one of the most photographed and talked-about features at the center. It has its own name: the Moody Foundation Chandelier.

"That moment just before the show, when the chandelier rises into the ceiling, is something our patrons love to experience," says AT&T Performing Arts Center CEO Debbie Storey in a statement. "And given the Center's strong commitment to arts education, we're thrilled this music comes from young artists right here in our community."

The AT&T Foundation awarded the Center a grant to provide a mentorship program for the composition students at Booker T. Washington. A dozen students participated in a series of master classes led by professional composers and music producers from Man Made Music, learning about the process of commercial composition and recording.

Damoyee Janai Neroes, the winning composer, is a recent Booker T. Washington graduate and accomplished musician who has won numerous awards and performed at venues such as the 50th Anniversary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and The Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City.

Neroes will attend the Berklee College of Music to major in film scoring and minor in music production and sound engineering.

"I am extremely thrilled that my composition was selected and grateful to AT&T PAC and the entire community of arts supporters, including patrons, artists and philanthropists, for their ongoing dedication and commitment to the arts," Neroes says in a statement. "This is a huge honor for me as a young composer to have the opportunity to share my music with so many people. I hope to inspire other young composers to continue pursuing their passion for a career in music."

Audiences will first hear the new music when the chandelier ascends prior to An Evening with Iyanla Vanzant on July 27.

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Lindsey Wilson contributed to this story.