top of page
banner_2.jpeg

YOUTUBE

The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area and via our Twitch channel. Our orchestra and choir perform video game music spanning musical genres across decades of video games. WMGSO has recorded two albums - with more recordings in the works! - and releases new music videos on YouTube

Game music weaves a tapestry of the traditions, values and mythos of video game culture. In it we find deep emotion and truths, as well as new ways of expressing ourselves that transcend the medium of games. 

Though the culture is changing, video game soundtracks largely escape recognition in professional musical circles. WMGSO is dedicated to showcasing this art form and highlighting the virtuosity of its composers.

Former WMGSO Board Member Chris Apple shares his answer to one of our most frequently asked questions: Why video game music?

Why do we still tell the stories of “Beowulf,” “Odysseus” and “Hamlet?” Why do we still listen to Beethoven? There is something about them that makes us want to share; we find meaning in them. Meaning in art changes lives, and when you find that kind of meaning you know that others will benefit from it, too.

It’s not the plot or the art or even the music itself that inspires us to share. In these games we find basic truths about life itself. We find ourselves, and new ways of thinking about and expressing ourselves. We find the same meaning that is found in other music, in novels, movies, and other literature, meaning that transcends the medium itself and stays with a person for life. Games are not just children’s toys, they often deal with serious adult ideas, like love, war, politics, religion, parenthood, and poverty. It has changed our lives and brought us happiness, and we know that our audience can find and cherish those truths as well. That makes those truths bigger than us, and compels us to present them to you.

Many of our audience are gamers, and many are not. You may not know the fantastic worlds, characters and stories that unfold in each of these video games. You may not know the gravity of saying that the last Metroid is in captivity, what it means to seek the Promised Land, or the humbling experience of becoming the Hero of Light. But you will know, because those ideas enshrine those basic truths which we will share through our music and our passion for it. Music is a language that bypasses words. It communicates in feelings, motion, color, and light. There is a truth in music itself which can express an idea far better than any statement. By listening to their music, you need not know anything about the games to know how it feels to have experienced them.

So why are we on this stage? Because our minds and our hearts leave us no other choice. This music, these games, this experience is bigger than us, and we want them to be shared as widely as possible, and succeed us when we are gone.

Why Video Game Music?

Hoedown de Chocobo | Final Fantasy VII | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
04:18
Hoedown de Chocobo | Final Fantasy VII | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
Final Fantasy VII Symphonic Suite: Songs of the Lifestream Movement 2: Hoedown de Chocobo By: Nobuo Uematsu, Aaron Copland Arr. Josh Haas A chocobo is a (maybe) tame, (probably) yellow bird, the size of a (sort of) ostrich with the build of a (kind of) chicken. One of the recurring elements in the Final Fantasy series, chocobos were introduced as mounts (for fast, uninterrupted overworld travel) in 1988 in Final Fantasy II, which has the first appearance of a then-four-bar-only Chocobo theme. By Final Fantasy IV, the theme had been expanded to its full 16-bar form, and the genre-bending that was to be its signature had already begun. The chocobo theme (and chocobos) appear in every numbered main sequence game, and the variations on the musical theme include “Mambo de Chocobo,” “Waltz de Chocobo,” “Pulse de Chocobo,” “Swing de Chocobo,” “Ukulele de Chocobo”…“Fiddle de Chocobo,” which is one that appears in Final Fantasy VII… “Rodeo,” by American composer Aaron Copland (1900-1990) is a ballet featuring cowboys and cowgirls—the wild, fancy-free Western folk who usually ride horses, when they aren’t dancing. What if they rode chocobos instead? A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Recording Audio Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #finalfantasymusic #ff7 #chocobo
Enter the Summerlands | Ni no Kuni | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
06:46
Enter the Summerlands | Ni no Kuni | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
Enter the Summerlands - Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (2011) By: Joe Hisaishi Arr. Ben Ryer Ni no Kuni, which very roughly translates to “another world,” tells the story of a young boy named Oliver who loses his mother in a tragic accident. After an encounter with a precocious fairy named Drippy, Oliver travels to another world, where he soon discovers that many of his friends and neighbors from back home all have counterparts in this new world. Oliver also discovers that many of the citizens of this world seem to share a link with their counterparts, as the evil wizard Shadar is causing them to suffer ill effects of broken-heartedness. Together with Drippy and his other companions, Oliver sets out to confront Shadar and ultimately an even more powerful force foreshadowed in the game’s subtitle. The first major open area Oliver encounters in the parallel world is the Summerlands, the northern section of which contains rolling green hills and the quaint town of Ding Dong Dell. During Oliver’s adventure, he encounters a friendly wyvern named Tengri, who allows Oliver and his party to ride on his back and quickly traverse the world. The first half of this arrangement consists of the theme heard while traversing this area on foot. The second half depicts the theme heard while riding on Tengri and is introduced by a solo trumpet mimicking Oliver’s signal call to summon his wyvern ally. A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Audio Recording Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #ninokuni
Singing Hill | Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
02:55
Singing Hill | Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
Singing Hill - Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia (2006) By: Akira Tsuchiya Arr. Anne Marie Porter In the story of Ar Tonelico, the power of singing can save the world! The Ar Tonelico game series depicts a world where Earth has become enveloped in a poisonous miasma, and the remaining humans survive by living in three enormous towers that stretch far above the toxic fog. The largest of the three towers is called Ar Tonelico. Among the humans living within the towers, certain individuals have the special ability to cast magic spells with their songs and sing to protect their companions during battle. In the end, the singers gather their power and clear the Earth of the toxic miasma forever. Because singers act as the central characters of the story, the Ar Tonelico game series has a rich and beautiful choral soundtrack. The choral lyrics are written in two languages—Japanese and Hymmnos, a fictional language that the characters use when singing their spells. “Singing Hill” is the opening choral symphony of the first game and serves as the flagship musical theme of the whole series. In this symphony, the singers cast a powerful magic spell of celebration and happiness. The lyrics of the song communicate the singers’ desire to create a world where people can share their feelings with one another and coexist in peace and harmony. WMGSO’s choir is joined by Johnny Mullen on the shakers, Iain Kierzewski on the djembe, and Julius Verzosa on the tambourine. A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Audio Recording Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #artonelico
Slam Shuffle | Final Fantasy VI | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
02:58
Slam Shuffle | Final Fantasy VI | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
Slam Shuffle - Final Fantasy VI (1994) By: Nobuo Uematsu Arr. Ashleah Younker This is Zozo—a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Everyone here is a liar, except for one character, who tells the player, “This place is dangerous.” Indeed, the rain-slicked, dark-even-in-daylight streets are extremely treacherous: Zozo is a rare example of a town in a Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) where random battles can occur. Between the many, many random encounters that bring up the battle music, you can listen to “Slam Shuffle,” the very fitting town theme for Zozo. While watching a streamed playthrough of this game, the arranger immediately knew that the piece needed to be written for sax quartet. It already has a jazzy feel, the melody bops around a lot, and the bassline is simultaneously a growl and a slink. In this arrangement, the first iteration of the melody is fairly faithful, but later iterations play with the original material by adding and subtracting from it. The climax features the melody harmonized in all four voices, partially as a love letter to Yoko Kanno (especially for her music in the Cowboy Bebop anime). The piece winds down as the baritone sax gets a turn at the melody and ends with a farewell wave from each player. “Slam Shuffle” is presented by Hojin Yoon and Anna Trejo on alto sax, Greg Danis on tenor sax, and Jacob Deaven on baritone sax. A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Audio Recording Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #finalfantasymusic
The Sanctuary of Bad Dreams | Rayman 2: The Great Escape | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
11:13
The Sanctuary of Bad Dreams | Rayman 2: The Great Escape | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
The Sanctuary of Bad Dreams - Rayman 2: The Great Escape (1999) By: Eric Chevalier, Daniel Masson Arr. Thomas Ashcom It’s unclear why developers chose to make the humanoid protagonist of the Rayman series have no limbs, but it certainly adds up in the context of the pseudo-natural worlds he tackles throughout his series of games. In this second installment, Rayman must save the peaceful fairy glade from being destroyed by Admiral Razorbeard and his brutish army of robot pirates. Much like the timeless battle of nature versus machine, this arrangement is a tug-of-war between itself at two extremes, stirring together musical themes from across the original soundtrack. In order to stitch these individual shorts into a long form that befits a concerto, the arranger used many techniques and novel ideas from his own classical training and study. The arranger would also like to thank our featured guest, Doug Perry, for giving this concerto the limbs it needs...it can’t magically hold its body parts together like Rayman can. A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Recording Audio Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #rayman2
UNDERTALE Variations | UNDERTALE | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
05:40
UNDERTALE Variations | UNDERTALE | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
UNDERTALE Variations - UNDERTALE (2015) By: Toby Fox Arr. Doug Perry Doug Perry is an internationally-renowned percussionist, composer, and educator. His technical skill and passion for performing new works transcends disciplines, making him a sought-after performer in the worlds of new music and video game scoring. Featured soloist performances include the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, and the Neue Eutiner Festspiele Orchestra. Doug frequently records and produces music for video games and film; he was featured as a soloist in the scores to Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Sid Meyer’s Civilization VI, and can be heard in such titles as Mortal Kombat 11, Celeste, and Guild Wars 2. Currently music faculty at Western Connecticut State University, Doug teaches percussion and audio production, as well as classes on music streaming and video game music. Doug holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Kansas, as well as an artist diploma from the Yale School of Music, where he was awarded the Horatio Parker Memorial Prize. A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Recording Audio Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #undertale #undertalemusic
Spyro Can't Sleep | Spyro the Dragon | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
04:06
Spyro Can't Sleep | Spyro the Dragon | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
Spyro Can’t Sleep - Spyro the Dragon (1998) By: Stewart Copeland Arr. Thomas Ashcom Spyro is a small, purple dragon tasked with saving his kingdom by finding all its scattered treasure and freeing his fellow dragons, who are frozen in crystal. With the protection of his dragonfly companion Sparx, Spyro must fight his way past a range of fanciful creatures. This piano arrangement toys with themes from two of the homeworlds within the dragon kingdom: Magic Crafters and Dream Weavers. The arrangement’s title highlights how much tireless exploration Spyro must undergo through these two extremely dreamlike landscapes. Thomas Ashcom presents his arrangement on solo piano. A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Audio Recording Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #spyro #spyrothedragon
Shinra Army on Maneuvers | Final Fantasy VII | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
05:10
Shinra Army on Maneuvers | Final Fantasy VII | WMGSO's Fall 2022 Full Orchestra Concert
Final Fantasy VII Symphonic Suite: Songs of the Lifestream Movement 3: Shinra Army on Maneuvers By: Nobuo Uematsu Arr. Chris Apple This movement combines three marches from the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack: “Rufus’ Welcoming Ceremony,” “Fortress of the Condor,” and “Shinra Army Wages a Full-Scale Attack.” The “Shin-Ra” Electric Power Company is not only the premiere energy company on the planet, but in many places serves as virtually the only form of government. The company is tapping into a dangerous new form of energy, with the aim to bring a “new way” of life all over the globe. To keep activists and slum-dwellers in line, Shinra maintains a standing army for security. The protagonists fight the Shinra Army and sometimes infiltrate it, pretending to be its soldiers. These soldiers excel at flashy parades, but are often hapless and unreliable on the battlefield. At times, to maintain their disguises, Cloud and his friends partake in army ceremonies, such as one to welcome the chairman, Rufus, to a port city. These ceremonies of course feature appropriately pompous marches, with very colorful instrumentation to reflect the army’s showmanship. Frequent comedic effects paint a picture of a lumbering, confused army that’s barely holding itself together. The mood is more serious for “Fortress of the Condor,” the background music for a tower-defense mini-game where the player attempts to defend Fort Condor from Shinra Army forces. It gets even heavier with the third march, “...Full-Scale Attack,” and takes a somber turn with the arrival of the theme of the Shinra Company itself and the theme of its Mako reactors that are sapping and strangling the planet’s life force. This disturbing ending serves as a reminder that, though these troops may be clueless and amusing, they are still the armies of darkness and will go on to do terrible, terrible things… A special Thank You to the Prince George's Community College Center for the Performing Arts & Humanities Department for filming and streaming our concert. Video Producer: David Werner Video and Stream Coordinator: Jarel Jones Recording Audio Engineer: Josh Haas Video and Audio Editor: David Werner Additional Audio Assistance: Jimyo Lin, David Crisler, Scott Luxenberg The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra (WMGSO) is a nonprofit community orchestra whose mission is to share video game music by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the D.C. area. "WMGSO: The Album" and "WMGSO: The Album DLC" out now! https://wmgso.org/albums Support WMGSO: https://www.wmgso.org/donate WMGSO merchandise: https://www.cafepress.com/wmgso​​ Follow WMGSO on social media! Website: https://www.wmgso.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroGSO/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmgso Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washmetrogso Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wmgso #videogamemusic #finalfantasymusic #ff7
bottom of page