ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO), the premiere community ensemble exclusively devoted to the performance of video game music, will debut a custom-arranged “Undertale” symphonic suite at its “Downbeats with Determination!” spring concert on Saturday, April 8, at Rockville High School. This concert will also feature the first WMGSO Game Gallery to further enhance the audience experience.
“Undertale,” the wildly popular 2015 role-playing game created by indie developer and composer Toby Fox, tells the story of a human child who has fallen beneath the surface of the Earth and must combat - and befriend - monsters to return home. Fox’s creative composition inspired WMGSO horn player and arranger Jamin Morden to explore the more prominent thematic material from the game’s soundtrack. The result is a breathtaking piece that utilizes classical forms, such as Scherzo and Trio, as well as Sonata and Rondo, while drawing from the influence of modern cutting-edge video game music.
"Toby Fox has created an extremely economical and interesting soundtrack in ‘Undertale.’ He uses themes and motifs to draw attention to certain characters and events, all while varying and modifying those themes to fit specific circumstances and events in the game,” said Morden.
“One of the big goals in the symphonic suite is to essentially take a magnifying glass to those themes and their variations, so that the audience can hear and enjoy the common threads woven throughout the entire soundtrack," Morden added.
Tunes from “Chrono Cross” and “Overwatch” and WMGSO’s ever-popular small ensemble performances will round out the concert. Prior to the show, audience members can explore the WMGSO Game Gallery. There they can play and learn about the games that inspired this season’s musical arrangements, all while WMGSO pianist Jasmin Hottle gives a solo performance.
Since its founding in 2013, WMGSO has expanded from a small group of about 25 musicians to a 100-piece orchestra and choir. Over the years, the ensemble has been awarded several grants, with this concert being funded in part by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
WMGSO’s spring concert begins 7 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at Rockville High School, 2100 Baltimore Road, Rockville, Maryland. As WMGSO events sell out quickly, audience members are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at https://www.wmgso.org/events. Tickets are $8 in advance and $9 at the door.
The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra and choir whose mission is to share and celebrate video game music with a wide audience by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the Washington, D.C. area.
WMGSO is excited to further its mission of educating the public about video game music as an art form through a weekly stream on Twitch.tv. Every Sunday from 1-3 p.m., we will host a chat with one of WMGSO's arrangers about performing the video game music we love, while also exploring the music in context within the game. The first game on the docket is a discussion of WildARMs and our arrangements of "Into the Wilderness" and "Portae." See you this Sunday on twitch.tv/wmgso!
Following a successful fall concert series, the Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra resumed full ensemble rehearsals in late November, in preparation for its April 8, 2017 performance at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland. The 85-member orchestra and choir is working on brand new musical arrangements from such lauded video games as “Halo,” “Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness” and “Undertale.” In its few short years of existence, WMGSO has grown both in musicality and membership numbers. Once again, the ensemble is expanding its ranks. Interested musicians - particularly percussionists, string players and vocalists – are encouraged to fill-out the contact form available at wmgso.org/join.
Popularized by professional touring concerts such as Video Games Live! and Nintendo’s Symphony of the Goddesses, as well as the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Best Video Game Music” albums, orchestral performances of video game music have gained significant ground over the past several years. About a dozen high school and college-level ensembles devoted to the emerging genre exist nationwide. WMGSO gave its first performance in 2014 and has gone on to sell out several shows.