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Music of ‘Star Wars’ Inspires Dunwoody Students

By Kimberly Hung

In collaboration with the Atlanta Science Festival (ASF), the Dunwoody campus hosted the Symphony of the Stars, a celebration of science and technology the last week of March.
With the eminent music of “Star Wars,” Symphony of the Stars was an event that brought music and science enthusiasts together to explore the classic film series from an astrological aspect.
“How many times has Pluto orbited the Earth since its discovery?” student Jonathan Fears asked in a trivia questionnaire at the beginning of the program.
While many audience members pondered upon the correct response, an enthusiastic young astronomer shouted the answer, “Zero!”
After a warm welcome from Megan Levacy and an introduction by Dr. Jay Dunn, both professors at GPC, presenter Eric Saldana showed a video montage that craftily compared footage of our planets to the ones in Star Wars, all while incorporating the renowned music of the film series.
Students, such as Paola Rodriguez and Jauquinn McCullough, found that the event was interesting and informative. The video, they said, especially captured a visual and interactive aspect in learning about the extremes of space.
Then, student Zak Kaminsky, with Greg McLean, a Clarkston music professor, examined the musical aspect of Star Wars. They critiqued and praised composer John Williams for his work. While the soundtrack may have some similarities to other works, it will always remain uniquely Star Wars.
Assisted by student Gillian Millard, Dunwoody astronomy professor Dr. Dunn, then began a presentation in which examined the astronomy of the Star Wars universe. Some of the topics covered were the possibilities of hyperspace and binary sunsets, as well as, the similarities of the worlds of Star Wars with the planets in our solar system.
“I learned a lot about how planets and Star Wars are related,” said GPC student Aixa Moise.
The Dance of the Planets event was a scientific musical adventure. Based off radio signals the Voyager space probe captured during its flight through the solar system, the signals were converted into a variety of interesting sounds.
GPC students presented at the event; Elie Cohen presented information about Voyager probes, Kristen Gay and Harper Dutton explained the definition of light and Gillian Millard described the creation of sound from magnetic fields. A finale was performed by Claire Paul, an Art professor at Dunwoody. Using a digital mixing board, an ensemble of sounds in the room created the sound of a symphony.
When asked about his experience, Dr. Dunn said, “I’m very happy that I had the chance to participate in the ASF, and I hope that next year I will get another chance to join the fun.”

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