Under the direction of Anthony Mazzaferro, the Symphonic Winds paid tribute to a variety of popular video games at Fullerton College Campus Theatre Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Mazzaferro jokingly introduced the theme of the night’s performance as “music they’ll be playing after they get out of college.”
Before the video game music ensued, the band started off the night with a proud trumpet fanfare of a John Williams piece entitled “Olympic Spirit”.
Next was a song called “And the Grass Sings in the Meadows” composed by UCLA band director Travis J. Cross. The song opened with soft and long sustained notes that later picked up speed to build momentum, reminiscent of a movie soundtrack to a coming-of-age story.
Student conductor Emmanuel Arredondo took center stage replacing Mazzaferro for a fast-paced dynamic piece “Ride!” by American composer Samuel R. Hazo. Arredondo’s primary instrument for the performance was the clarinet.
Arredondo didn’t just take the audience on a ride, but on an epic journey with such energy and enthusiasm in his conducting as the song took form with precise cymbal crashes and pounding percussion.
The band shifted gears as it marched its way into video game territory, beginning with Ryan Main’s Selections from “Shifter,” an XBOX Live video game.
The sounds of the drums of war made way for the suite from “World of Warcraft”, which included “Wrath of the Lich King”, “Invincible” and “Lion’s Pride”, arranged by Russell Brower and Jason Hayes.
The theatre’s projector screen came down as the symphonic winds prepared for the Video Games Live Suites arranged by Ralph Ford.
A montage of the video game trailers compiled by the symphony’s very own French horn player Brian Pham complimented these arrangements of video game themes.
Part one which consisted of selections from “Halo,” “Civilization IV” and “Kingdom Hearts.” While part two included “One Winged Angel” from “Final Fantasy VII,” “Myst III” from “Exile” and the “Bounty Hunter Theme” from the “Advent Rising” suite.
The band concluded the show with the symphonic suite from “Star Trek,” by renowned film composer Michael Giacchino.
The suite comprised of songs from the new reboot film soundtrack such as “Enterprising Young Men,” “To Boldly Go” and “End Credits.”
Mazzaferro enjoyed the process of learning new music from sources of a younger generation in preparation for the concert.
“It was a lot of fun being introduced to this new genre of music. Not many universities get to showcase this,” Mazzaferro explained in reference to the video game scoring. “The theme of tonight’s concert was very fitting.”
The Symphonic Winds ensemble a T.G.I Fridays fundraising event at the Brea location. 20 percent of the sales from a meal purchase will benefit the Fullerton College Music Department.
Check the Fullerton College
Music Department website for upcoming winter and spring performances.