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The Washington Metropolitan Gamer Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra and choir whose mission is to share and celebrate video game music with a wide audience by putting on affordable, accessible concerts in the Washington, D.C., area.
Game music weaves a tapestry of the traditions, values and mythos of video game culture. In it we find deep emotion and truths about life, as well as new ways of expressing ourselves. We find meaning and beauty that transcends the medium of games and stays with us for life.
Despite this, these soundtracks largely escape recognition in professional musical circles. WMGSO is dedicated to showcasing this emerging art form and highlighting the virtuosity of its composers.
The WMGSO grew out of the Gamer Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maryland, College Park, the world's first permanent collegiate orchestra devoted exclusively to performing video game music. Several graduates discussed creating a community-level orchestra to continue this mission and founded the WMGSO in the summer of 2012. After more than a year of preparation, the board collected a repertoire and brought Nigel Horne aboard as music director and conductor.
The group's first rehearsal in August 2013 consisted of about 15 musicians and singers auditioning for spots. Since those humble beginnings, the group has grown to more than 85 performers. The WMGSO held its first public performances in the spring of 2014. The first concert was in April at Living Faith Lutheran Church, which graciously hosted WMGSO's first year of rehearsals. The second was in June at Rockville High School, and attracted more than 500 audience members. Shortly after that June performance, the IRS accepted WMGSO’s application to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
To provide partial funding for its spring 2015 season, WMGSO received a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, which allowed the ensemble to perform in June at Rockville’s F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in front of a capacity crowd. In the summer of 2015, WMGSO performed at the first-ever Super Smash Con at the Dulles Expo Center.
Our concert schedule has also expanded to include not only primary concerts in both Maryland and Northern Virginia, but chamber and small ensemble performances throughout the D.C. Metro Area as well.
The eStarland Community Team customized an outreach strategy with WMGSO to get their message and programming out to Video Gaming community. The strategy centered around marketing, engagement and fundraising, all key elements to a sustainable nonprofit.
- Dedicated page on eStarland.com's Community site
- eStarland Cares™: Fundraising through eStarland trade-in program
- Physical marketing material including in-store signage
- Enrollment in the revenue sharing eStarland affiliate program
- Email marketing and social medial posts