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PSU wind ensemble performs music of film and video games

Elizabeth Ridgeway ,clarinet; Andrew Baker, clarinet; Kayleigh Hall, clarinet; and Joel Garber, oboe; play music from Star Wars in the Bicknell family Center of the Arts on Sept. 23. The Wind Ensemble played several songs from movies and video games including Skyrim, Legend of Zelda, Cuphead, and more. Diego Oliva

The Pittsburg State University wind ensemble performed many popular songs from sci-fi movies and video games. 

The concert was the first of the fall season and was held at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Many of the students said they enjoyed the songs they performed. They felt that performing songs that they already knew helped them to connect with the music.

“Personally, I enjoy ‘Riften Wed’ by Julie Giroux,” said Jonathon Rohr, junior in music education. “It had really nice low trombone stuff, which is why I enjoy that part.”

Rohr played in the trombone section during the concert.

“The closing ‘Baba Yetu’ by Christopher Tin was my favorite,” Rohr said. “I love ‘Civilization.’ It is a really good game. The song really just builds that story of the game up and up and up. And it was just a nice wrap up to the concert.”

With three years of experience in the wind ensemble, Rohr found that new students connected with the music more than previous concerts.

“I definitely saw a little bit more passion out of some of the younger members than what I have in the past, which is nice.” Jonathon Rohr said.

Musicians perform and practice music for different reasons. Jonathon Rohr shared his personal reason why he plays trombone.

“I enjoy it,” Rohr said. “It brings me peace. For some people video games their release. It just lets them have this release tension after a really long stressful day. However, for me it’s just playing my instrument.”

The concert contained music from video games “Cuphead”, “Skyrim”, “Civilization”, and “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.”

“I really liked Cuphead,” said Caden Hughes, sophomore in business economics. “I played xylophone on Cuphead. It was a really fun piece to participate in.”

Hughes, like many other wind ensemble musicians, knew many of the musical pieces before practices began.

“Yes, absolutely. I’m a pretty avid video game player, so I knew I knew a lot of the stuff going into it. It was a lot of fun,” Caden Hughes said.

He pointed out that while younger audience members may have recognized more of the songs, the older generation were also able to enjoy the concert.

“The audience really connected with the music more than normal other pieces,” Hughes said. “I feel as if for the younger audience, they really connected with it. Especially and even moving towards the 30 to 40 range of the audience, because we played a game from the N64.., I think that we played a pretty broad range of old and new video game music…”

The ensemble also played music from film including music from “Star Wars” by composer John Williams.

“I know everybody had a lot of fun playing these songs because they were songs that we knew already like, especially opening up with Star Wars,” Hughes said. “Everybody knows Star Wars. From the sightread we were having an incredible amount of fun.”

The group spent 4 weeks preparing for their performance. Many spent hours outside of rehearsal to practice part of the songs.

“For those concert cycles 4 weeks and it’s expected that we know our notes and everything pretty much by the first or second rehearsal,” Hughes said. “Those practices are an hour and a half with a ten-minute break in the middle.”

The Pittsburg State University wind ensemble will perform their next concert on Nov. 14 at the Bicknell Center.

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