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Video Games Head To The Concert Hall

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I’ve always enjoyed the music in video games. It's often an important part in setting the tone, whether it’s a happy, jazzy anthem in Sonic the Hedgehog, or an ambient, moody piece from Silent Hill.

One game series well known for its iconic music is Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. A concert series entitled “Symphony of the Goddesses” is currently touring the United States, featuring music from the games. Much of the music composed for the series was written by Nintendo’s most prolific composer, Koji Kondo, who is also known for his work in the Super Mario Bros. series. The concert is playing this week in Dallas, and tickets will go on sale soon for a performance in Kansas City early next year.

My favorite game music comes from the Final Fantasy series, largely composed by Nobuo Uematsu, and some of the first orchestral game music concerts were of his work. This year’s concert series, entitled "Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds," is finishing up its tour this year at Chicago’s Symphony Center. The two-hour concert features music from every game in the series, and includes a choir for some of the vocal tracks from the games.

Also, based in Boston, there is the Video Game Orchestra. The group is a combined orchestra and rock band, playing concerts since 2008 with their own arrangements of music from video games of all genres. Aside from playing their own concerts, they have also been featured at major shows like the Penny Arcade Expo and MAGfest, they played for Boston’s performance of the Distant Worlds concert, and even were the performers for the most recent Final Fantasy game’s in-game soundtrack.

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.