Orchestra accompanies silent film Saturday

CLINTON — The Hamilton College Department of Music presents the 1920 silent film Way Down East with orchestration on Saturday at 8 p.m., in Wellin Hall.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Heather Buchman will conduct a new score by Philip Rothman to the iconic silent film Way Down East, starring Lillian Gish and directed by D.W. Griffith. The plot centers on Anna, a naive country girl (Gish), who is tricked into a sham marriage by a rich, callous womanizer (Lowell Sherman). She must then rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock and ends up on an icy river.

It is generally regarded as one of the greatest classic films of the silent era, department officials said.

This new score explores contemporary sounds while acknowledging the melodramatic styles of the era.

The seven-piece orchestra includes Linda Greene, flute; John Friedrichs, clarinet/bass clarinet; Vladimir Pritzker, violin; Kit Dodd, viola; Heidi Hoffman, cello; Julie Bridge, horn; and Sar-Shalom Strong, piano.

This work was funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of New Music U.S.A.