The search for Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra’s next Music Director has concluded. WMGSO’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jamin Morden has accepted the position.
"This is an immense honor for me. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to continue working with WMGO. I grew up loving Video Game Music, and having the opportunity to bring it into the concert hall is a dream come true!" said Morden.
WMGSO received 15 applications for the job, which was narrowed down to four finalists who were invited to interview the Board and conduct the ensemble in person. All of the finalists have impressive backgrounds, and the ensemble is thankful for the time and effort each candidate put into the interview process.
"I'd like to thank all of our candidates who auditioned with us in March," said Jasmine Marcelo, President of WMGSO. "Each of the candidates was well qualified and had something to offer to the group. I'm confident that Jamin will be able to lead WMGSO through the next few years and help us achieve even greater musical heights."
The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) will perform at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 16 at DisCon III, the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), in Washington, D.C.
“Video Game Music is the soundtrack of our lives, it plays while we play, it sets the mood, and enhances the drama or the humor, it is a creative art that deserves to be showcased. Combining it with orchestral music, through the talent of the WMGSO, will show the artistry and power of this music,” said Mary Robinette Kowal, chair of DisCon III. “Fans may find themselves humming along.”
“WMGSO's performance at DisCon III has been in the works for over a year, and we're excited to finally bring it live to all attendees, both in-person and virtual! There are so many video games that are an important part of the science fiction genre today, and we hope that our performance will showcase the multi-faceted nature of video game music,” said Jasmine Marcelo, WMGSO President.
“So many video games owe a debt of gratitude to science fiction. As the community of gaming continues to grow and collaborate with other communities, performances such as this one provides an opportunity for our ensemble and DisCon III attendees to enjoy aspects of overlapping fandoms. I'm very excited to share some of our favorite music with the convention!” added Jamin Morden, WMGSO Interim Music Director.
About WMGSO: The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt community orchestra and choir whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area.
Since the ensemble’s first rehearsal in August 2013, membership has grown to more than 100 performers. Jamin Morden wields the baton as WMGSO’s Interim Music Director. He collaborates closely with WMGSO Choir Director Jacob Coppage-Gross. WMGSO stages concerts three times a year: full ensemble concerts in the fall and spring, and chamber concerts in the summer. Additional chamber performance opportunities at fundraisers, conventions, and community outreach events are available to membership throughout the year. Our repertoire ranges in style from pre-Baroque to modern pop genres. Most of our arrangements are created in-house from current and former members. To view past concert programs, please visit WMGSO's past concert programs page.
In celebration of WMGSO’s five-year anniversary in 2018, the ensemble recorded its first professional album. WMGSO: The Album includes 12 tracks performed by the full orchestra and/or choir. Thanks to meeting crowdfunding stretch goals, an additional eight tracks of chamber music was released shortly thereafter as a download-only album, WMGSO: The Album DLC. Additional album information can be found online.
Notable performances: In 2015, WMGSO performed at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in front of a capacity crowd and at the first-ever Super Smash Con. Three years later, WMGSO performed on the mainstage at MAGFest in front of 2,000 attendees. In 2019, WMGSO collaborated with composer Tony Manfredonia on the North America debut, and global choral debut, of music from Kharon’s Crypt. WMGSO's home stage for the past few years is the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, Md. WMGSO is slated to perform at DisCon III, the World Science Fiction Convention, in D.C. this December.
To learn more about WMGSO, please visit wmgso.org or https://linktr.ee/wmgso.
About Worldcon: DisCon III, the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), will be held in Washington, DC., December 15-19, 2021. DisCon III is the third World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) held in Washington DC, USA. Worldcon is the annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans, writers, artists, musicians, and other creators from across the globe. DisCon III will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, on December 15-19, 2021.
Worldcon originally focused on and still has a strong emphasis on science fiction and fantasy literature but has grown to include genre television, movies, animation, games, and other popular media as well. It has truly become the world’s fair of science fiction and fantasy fandom. No other event brings together fans and creators, regardless of genre or medium, under one big tent with the intimacy of Worldcon.
DisCon III is sponsored by the Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc. (BWAWA, Inc.), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Maryland.
First held in New York City in 1939, Worldcon moves around the globe, held in a different city and organized by a different volunteer organization each year. Previous DC-based Worldcons were DisCon I in 1963 and DisCon II in 1974.
“World Science Fiction Society,” "WSFS,” "World Science Fiction Convention,” "Worldcon,” "NASFiC,” "Hugo Award,” the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.
For more information on DisCon III, Worldcon, and how to become a member of the 79th Worldcon, visit http://www.discon3.org.
A statement from WMGSO's Board:
"WMGSO is an inclusive organization that vehemently rejects discrimination in all its insidious forms. As we witness the outpouring of pain borne from years of systemic racism and injustice against Black Americans, WMGSO's Board recognizes that we can always do better. As performers, we owe a great debt to Black musicians, composers, and artists whose works have influenced and shaped the cultural landscape. We pledge to better educate ourselves and to use our platform to highlight, share, credit, and promote the contributions of Black video game music artists. We encourage our members and our fans to combat racial injustice in their corner of the world."
The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra prioritizes our community above all else. In order to protect the health and wellness of our community, we will enact a hiatus from rehearsals and performances for the remainder of the spring season.
This includes the cancellation of our Spring concert, which was to be held on Saturday, May 16 and performed jointly with the Rockville Brass Band (RBB). We hope to reschedule this program with RBB for Spring 2021.
Our fundraiser at Dragon Distillery in Frederick, Md., originally scheduled for Sunday, April 5, is postponed. We will provide an update as soon as we find a new date for this event. Those who purchased tickets will receive a full refund.
As of yet, our summer Small Ensemble Showcase, scheduled for Saturday, July 11 in Washington, D.C., has not been impacted.
We are grateful for your understanding at this time and we look forward to performing for our fans again when it is safe to do so. Thank you.