WEEKEND: Port Angeles Symphony plays video-game scores tonight, Saturday
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Conductor Adam Stern rehearses with the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra for a pair of pops concerts tonight and Saturday. -- Photo by Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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“Today” and “tonight” are Friday, Sept. 27.

Spaghetti and garlic bread, big music and bright video: That’s the recipe to be tried out tonight and Saturday night.

It’s an unprecedented pops-concert mix, cooked up to bring together the young and the rest. The Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra, with its players across the age spectrum, will perform music from “Halo Reach,” “Age of Empires,” “Flight Simulator X,” “Plants vs. Zombies,” “Crimson Skies” and “The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age,” among many other video-game scores.

And as the musicians play, the videos will be projected onto a wide screen for one immersive experience: tonight at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, 400 W. Fir St. in Sequim, and Saturday at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

Both events start at 6:30 p.m. with spaghetti. It’s to be a dinner replete with pasta and meat or vegetarian sauce plus garlic bread prepared by Port Angeles Symphony board member Richard Fleck and his crew. For dessert, it’s music and video projection at 7 p.m.

Tickets, which include dinner and general seating, are family-friendly: $5 for youth age 16 and younger, $10 for students and $20 for adults.

They’re available at Port Book and News, 104 E. First St. in Port Angeles and at the Joyful Noise Music Center, 108 W. Washington St., and Sequim Village Glass, 761 Carlsborg Road, both in Sequim. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door tonight and Saturday.

This will be a rare chance to see two conductors lead the orchestra: longtime maestro Adam Stern will share the podium with Stan LePard, the Seattle-based composer of music for video games. LePard will conduct several of the pieces he wrote, such as the soundtracks for the “Halo” and “Age of Empires” games.

“We’ve been trying to reach the young people,” said symphony executive director Mark Wendeborn. “It is difficult to overcome the perception that orchestral music is not for them,” yet that’s exactly what video-game producers use to add drama.

At the same time, Wendeborn said, “We were worried about turning off our patrons” who have long supported the orchestra’s traditional concerts.

The good news, he noted, is that a number of such patrons have said they’re coming this weekend — with their grandchildren.

And the symphony’s Facebook page is enjoying more than 300 “likes.”

For more information about this weekend’s events and the coming season of Port Angeles Symphony concerts, visit www.PortAngelesSymphony.org or phone the symphony office at 360-457-5579.

Last modified: September 26. 2013 7:17PM
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