Des Moines Gamer Symphony Orchestra returns for a new concert

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Sunday marks the group’s first performance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Video games are becoming an increasingly popular pastime. A group of players carry their passion on stage, but their instruments are not made of plastic.

Video game music may be a foreign genre to many people. But for fans who have been saving princesses or saving the world for years, the soundtracks really stand out.

Aaron Barker, the head of the Des Moines Gamer Symphony Orchestra, realized this when he heard “One Winged Angel” while playing Final Fantasy 7.

“When I saw this orchestra play and the power of this piece, my heart just pounded,” said Barker. “And I just knew it was something I had to participate in some way or another.”

Barker first heard a video game symphony at the University of Maryland while in college. The idea of ​​how he could bring this show home to Iowa started from there.

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Now, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gaming Symphony is performing in person again. Their concert will take place Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater in West Des Moines.

The concert is free and open to the public, and will be the first time that the orchestra has worked with an outdoor space.

“It’s a lot of the sound of the ensemble and the way the sound travels in space. In an open-air amphitheater, it’s designed to have concerts, which is going to be great, but it will be. something completely new for us, “said Jennifer Walter, vice president of the symphony orchestra.

And even if you are not a gamer, the performers are confident that you will find something to enjoy.

“If you’ve heard any kind of symphony orchestral music in the past and enjoyed it a bit, you’re really going to enjoy these concerts because the music is just meant to be enjoyable,” Seth said. Hartman, trumpeter and audio player. engineer.

The Des Moines Gamer Symphony Orchestra is now a public not-for-profit organization.

Barker told Local 5 that he is looking to partner with local charities to help with fundraising efforts going forward.

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