The UMD Gamer Symphony Orchestra brings music from the console to the Smithsonian.
By Whit Johnson, CBS News
The animation used in video games is a lot better now than it was in the beginning and so is the music used in their soundtracks.
In fact, it's opened up a whole new field of music appreciation. You don't need a Wii or an Xbox to enjoy it.
A crowd of 1,100 recently gathered in this courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to listen to a 123-piece orchestra. But it wasn't the music of Beethoven or Strauss they heard. Instead, it was arrangements for video games like "Sonic the Hedgehog." It was all part of the largest dedication ever by a major museum to the art of video games.
"In addition to always being a fan of games, I've always been a massive fan of their music, too," said orchestra president Alex Ryan.
Ryan, who describes himself as only adequate on trumpet, is a far more serious gamer. When asked about the intensity of his gaming, if he's up until the wee hours of the morning gaming, said, "There have been many instances of that. It's - it's pretty much my pastime of choice."
Made up of mostly non-music majors, the Gamer Symphony Orchestra is more club than conservatory.
Still, for several years now, they've packed their campus concert hall with some of its biggest audiences - an accomplishment the university's School of Music director Robert Gibson says can't be ignored.
Date of Publication: