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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Youth Orchestra Plays Video Game Spectacular In San Antonio

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio tackles a fun project, which features more than just music. 

YOSA's music director Troy Peters also says a new musical and visual event isn't a laidback classical experience.

"'Video Games Live' is this crazy, amazing touring show of live symphony orchestra and chorus playing video game music, with synchronized lighting and sound effects and video screens. It's this amazing spectacle," Peters says.

The show's roots, like the title suggests, does not date back two or three hundred years, but highlights a contemporary composition.

"Tommy Tallarico, who not only created this whole show, is not only the host, and the composer of some of the music, but he's also an electric guitarist, so he plays solos in some of the music," Peters explains. "This music is like film scores; it's full of emotion and drama. And then behind them on the screens there's footage from video games." 

YOSA is full of teenagers who are digital natives who were raised playing video games.  

"The kids get to play this cool, energetic music that they are really fans of. And at the same time, they get to be featured in this show that is really more like a rock concert than really a classical show," Peters says.

And unlike most YOSA concerts, Peters gets to sit this one out.

"'Video Games Live' actually tours with their own conductor, Immanuel Fratiani, who knows this music inside and out, who works in the video game industry, so it make perfect sense to have him conduct the concert," he says. "So when the concert comes I'm going to kick back. I might sneak in and sing with the chorus a little bit, but mainly I'm going to be in the audience enjoying the show with everybody else."

YOSA performs "Video Games Live" at the Tobin Center on the evening of Saturday, July 15, and the afternoon of Sunday, July 16th.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii