This weekend! John Rhys-Davies joins forces with Symphony Nova Scotia and Hal-Con for “Sci-Fi Symphony” – ALMOST SOLD OUT!

Concert to feature blockbuster themes from Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and more

Halifax, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia meets swords, sci-fi, and superheroes in an exhilarating ride through some of the most epic music of all time!
Wear your costume and join the orchestra and special celebrity guest host John Rhys-Davies (Sallah in Indiana Jones, Gimli in Lord of the Rings) for a one-of-a-kind musical adventure on Saturday, October 31 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 1 at 2 pm at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax.

The orchestra’s first-ever collaboration with Hal-Con features blockbuster themes from Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man, World of Warcraft, Game of Thrones, and more – performed in all their vast, cinematic splendour by Symphony Nova Scotia’s expanded orchestra.

The concert will be led by rising Canadian conductor Mélanie Léonard, with John Rhys-Davies serving as emcee. John will provide commentary throughout the concert, sharing personal stories, fun facts, and insight into the concert’s music and composers.

The concert will also feature a Q&A with John and Mélanie, a costume contest with winners decided by the audience, and a post-concert meet-and-greet with John.

The full concert lineup includes music from:

Sci-Fi Symphony is just one part of Hal-Con’s diverse 2015 lineup. Hal-Con is happening from October 30 to November 1 at the World Trade and Convention Centre and Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. More details are here.

Tickets for both Sci-Fi Symphony concerts begin at $30 (HST included), and you can save up to 35% by purchasing a ticket package. Tickets are available at the Dalhousie Arts Centre Box Office (6101 University Avenue, Halifax), 902.494.3820, or online at

Gimli-John-Rhys-DaviesAbout John Rhys-Davies
Iconic British actor John Rhys-Davies, best known to film audiences for his roles in the blockbuster hits Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was introduced to a new generation of fans in the blockbuster trilogy The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) in the role of Gimli the Dwarf.

When not busy with these blockbusters, John is a ubiquitous presence in international television and film, where he has essayed numerous military and professorial types, as well as a wide variety of ethnicities. John has also lent his formidable voice to countless animated efforts and video games, making him one of the more well-rounded and revered entertainers from across the pond – but one who is so chameleon-like in all of his projects, he is able to live a comfortable life of relative anonymity off-screen.

Born May 5, 1944 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, John spent much of his formative years in his mother’s hometown in Ammanford, Wales, while his mechanical engineer father worked in Tanzania. John and his family later joined his father in Africa, residing there until he was nine, when he was sent back to England for his studies at the Truro School in Cornwall. There, John saw his first theatre shows, and by his teenage years, he was top-billed in school productions of classical plays. After graduating from the University of East Anglia and a brief stint as a schoolteacher, John decided to devote himself fully to acting, enrolling at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

In 1992, he began lending his voice to animated series, starting with Batman, and video games, including the Wing Commander series. He performed in quite a few animated features such as Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Shark Bait, and Tom and Jerry. In 1995, he revived Sallah again in a short feature filmed for the Indiana Jones ride at the Disneyland Resorts. That same year, he enlivened the science fiction series Sliders, as blustery science professor Maximillian Arturo, who traveled through time with three younger companions. John also penned two episodes of the series. He also appeared as a holographic Leonardo Da Vinci in several episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. More recently, John is the narrator of the Truth & Life dramatized audio New Testament Bible, a 22-hour, celebrity-voiced, fully-dramatized version of the New Testament, and has appeared on the television series Psych, as well as in the features Sophie, Return to the Hiding Place, and Concrete Blondes.

John spends his time between The Isle of Man and New Zealand.

Melanie Leonard-CROPAbout Mélanie Léonard
Known for her youthful vibrancy and dynamic versatility with musical genres and styles, Mélanie Léonard is increasingly sought after as a guest conductor. She served as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Resident Conductor from 2009 to 2012 and as Associate Conductor for their 2012/13 season.

A Montréal native, Mélanie illustrates her virtuosity on the classical and jazz scenes. 2007 marked her first of several collaborations with the Montréal International Jazz Festival. She has served as Artistic Director of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Classical Choir and was also the founder, Artistic Director, and conductor of Ensemble Prima, a Montréal based chamber ensemble devoted to 20th and 21st century music.

Mélanie’s impassioned love of music, her charming stage presence, and her rapport with musicians and audiences are quickly becoming known on the national music scene. She guest conducted with a number of Canadian orchestras including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, I Musici, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

Mélanie has worked with acclaimed artists including Herbie Hancock, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Shauna Rolston, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jens Lindemann, Colin James, Nikki Yanofsky, The Tenors, Oscar Lopez, Pink Martini, and Chris Botti. In 2012, she was honoured with the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestra Conducting by the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2014, she founded the Wild West New Music Ensemble in Calgary, for which she acts as Music Director and Conductor. She also serves as Artistic Director for the Calgary New Music Festival launched in May 2015. In addition to her conducting career, Mélanie joined the team of La Croisée des Chemins on ICI Radio-Canada Première in Calgary as music correspondent.

Mélanie holds a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Montréal, where she studied with Maestri Paolo Bellomia and Jean-François Rivest. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory from the same university, and completed her Master’s of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Hartt School of Music, where she studied with Maestro Christopher Zimmerman.

About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!


For more information, please contact:
Heidi MacPhee
Director of Communications and Marketing, Symphony Nova Scotia
902.421.1300 x. 226
[email protected]