On April 27, Murray residents will be treated to a free orchestra featuring music from the most popular videogame titles to the lesser known of both past and present.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Hall and is planned to end near 11 p.m. Two music education seniors, Brittany Young and Colton Burger, organized the concert with volunteer Murray State student musicians.
The idea for this collaboration of gaming musicians came about while Young was listening to her copy of the “Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra” CD which contained the re-mastered versions of the game series’ music played by a professional orchestra. Young said that the nostalgia trip gave her the want to do something similar at Murray State, but for free and for fun.
“I thought, I kinda wanna create a super-secret videogame ensemble because I didn’t think the music department would let me do it,” Young said. “But then in one of my class’s senior seminar, we got to do a project.”
In Pamela Wurgler’s professional engagement class, students were assigned to come up with project ideas for a hefty final grade. Young felt her orchestra worth mentioning and pitched the idea, being met with positive feedback by both her class and professor. Burger offered a helping hand in the assignment, and though the concert is still for a grade, the two see the event as something much more than a grade for the semester.
“Since we have so much freedom with it, we have the opportunity to take it where we want,” Burger said. “We’ve been trying to garner community support for it as well, from musicians and audience members as well.”
The concert consists of multiple mixes of songs in medley form, with some solo performances by Young and Burger; including a Ska performance by the latter of the musicians. Most of the music planned for the night has been taught by ear alone, with music sheets written by ear as well, all while still retaining as close to the original work as possible. The orchestra is a full set, with at least one of every instrument needed from the brass section to the strings.
No specific tracks have been announced, but Young promises memorable songs from the most popular of the Nintendo and Square Enix, two of the top Japanese game developing and distributing companies, game franchises.
The concert will be a one shot performance for the semester, but there is future interest for a group to play at the Curris Center next semester, though nothing has been planned for certain. Other schools such as the Berkeley School of Music already have groups and classes similar to this, making this all the more possible for next year.
“If not us, I think it would be fantastic if we could get a small troop of musicians to band together for some sort of videogame music club,” Burger said. “Like a small ensemble organization.”
These future plans have time to be established, while the present concert is expected to be a success in execution and in reception by its organizers.
Story by Josh Hitz, contributing writer.