Concert Theme Ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

Planning a concert for your band, orchestra, choral group or glee club can be a huge undertaking. Choosing an inspiring or even humorous theme can help guide you toward musical selections and ideas to promote your event. It can also help get you excited, energised and motivated to pull all of the pieces together. Here are some great suggestions to get you started.

Patriotic Salute

Many songs honour our country and patriotic heritage: The national anthem, "America the Beautiful," even Neil Diamond's "We're Coming to America" or Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American" are among the first to come to mind. This theme is an obvious choice for Fourth of July festivities or any event that honours soldiers or historic American figures.

Honour a Favorite Composer

Pay tribute to musicians past who have influenced the music we love--Mozart, Gershwin, Beethoven, or even the Beatles or Michael Jackson. Select songs that best represent their musical contributions, or develop your theme around a particular subject the artist held dear.

Hits of Yesteryear

Use your concert as a musical way-back machine by performing music that characterises a certain era. Think '50s rock and bebop, the flower child sounds of the '60s, disco hits of the '70s and so much more. You can even incorporate fun costumes to highlight a particular decade.

Let's Go to the Movies

Movie soundtracks have long provided memorable songs and scores. Consider an homage to award-winning tunes from the silverscreen, such as theme songs that earned Oscar nods. Or focus on a particular movie or series--Star Wars, Grease and Moulin Rouge are just a few examples you might want to consider.

Small-Screen Favorites

Don't just focus on the big screen. Some notable theme songs have emerged from television shows over the years, including theme songs from "M.A.S.H.," "Cheers" and "Friends," to name a few. A tribute to these small-screen gems could be a fun way to reflect on some of the best of pop culture.

Childhood Memories

Whether it's singing your ABCs or remembering your mother's sweet lullabies, we all have songs that invoke memories of childhood. And some tunes, like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and the theme song from "Sesame Street," are familiar to almost everyone.

Sounds of the Season

Winter holiday carols are a hallmark of Christmas, Hannukah, Solstice and New Year celebrations. If you're planning your concert in the month of December, chances are, you will have so much to choose from that your challenge will be to narrow down the selection. Consider focusing on a particular angle, such as carols featuring bells, songs that play up the winter wonderland or religious-themed music, if appropriate.

Fright Night

Winter isn't the only time of year of festival holiday tributes. Have some ghostly fun with a Halloween concert! Your band or orchestra can recreate the eerie themes from horror films, such as The Exorcist, Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street. And there's great fun to be had belting out (and dancing to) Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the familiar refrain, "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"

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About the Author

Anne Shelton is a writer and editor living in Columbia, S.C. She honed her skills doing corporate communications and marketing in the health-care, insurance, manufacturing and business fields. She now enjoys writing about an even wider array of topics. Shelton earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Louisiana State University.