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Wind Ensemble to present concert, “Screen Time”

The Pittsburg State University Wind Ensemble is channeling their inner geek for an opening concert centered around music from video games and movies.

The concert, which will include music by the wind ensemble and a special video tribute to photographer Ansel Adams, will be held on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.

“The wind ensemble is the premier wind group for the music department since it’s an auditioned group,” said Andrew Chybowski, director of the wind ensemble. “For this concert, we’re doing music from movies and video games, and I think a lot of the students are realizing (as we practice) that a lot of this music is a lot harder than it sounds. We all grow up hearing ‘Star Wars’ without seeing all the music and notes that goes into the themes, so playing this music and seeing all the notes and everything that goes into (the pieces) helps students to see what goes into becoming a professional musician.”

The concert will feature music from movies like the “Star Wars” franchise and video games such as “Cuphead” and “Skyrim.”

“We’re doing two John Williams ‘Star Wars’ pieces,” Chybowski said. “One of them is the main ‘Star Wars’ everyone knows back in 1977. The other one is one of his newest (and possibly last) works from the new ‘Star Wars’ movies that have come out, ‘Rey’s Theme’ from Episode VII. For me, it’s cool to see one of (William’s) last movie scores compared to one of his first. There’s also a composition we are playing that people might not recognize unless they have heard the piece before. It’s called ‘Riften Wed,’ and it is not from a video game. It’s about a video game, ‘Skyrim,’ and in the world of ‘Skyrim’ there is a city called ‘Riften.’ The composer was playing the video game, and she was so emotionally attached to her character and the relationships she found that she was moved to write this composition.”

Chybowski chose the program for the concert based on the difficulty necessary to test his students and the opportunity to draw a diverse crowd with a more popular selection of music.

“From an audience perspective, I would think that a lot of people who don’t normally come to our concerts might have a lot of fun with this one,” Chybowski said. “If you’ve ever played ‘Zelda’ or seen ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Skyrim’ or games I hadn’t heard of like ‘Civilization 4,’ if you enjoy music from video games and music like those then there definitely might be some stuff you would recognize in our concert. One of the (wind ensemble’s) goals is to get people to come to our concerts who don’t normally attend, and I think hopefully that will be the case with this concert.”

After the concert on Sept. 23, the next concert currently scheduled for the wind ensemble is on Nov. 14 in the Linda and Lee Scott Performance Hall of the Bicknell Center for the Arts.

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