A “Final Fantasy” of Students: Beckman’s Video Game Music Concert


Photograph by April Wang

Beckman’s Chamber Orchestra perform “Apotheosis” from the game “Journey” on stage.

April Wang, Staff Writer

IRVINE – On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Beckman High School’s Chamber Orchestra and Orchard Hills Middle School’s Symphonic Orchestra held the Video Game Music Concert in Beckman’s Performing Arts Center (PAC). Mr. Perkins, Orchard Hill’s orchestra teacher, and Mr. Kollias, Beckman’s orchestra teacher, conducted over 100 performers. Their performance featured music from a wide range of video games including the popular “World of Warcraft,” “Final Fantasy VII,” and “Journey.”


Students from both schools prepared for the big night for many weeks. Orchard Hills eighth-grader and violist Katelyn Bi worked along with her peers in the middle school orchestra practicing the six pieces they played in the concert. “Our orchestra played almost every day for the past two months, and we even had an after-school rehearsal,” said Bi. “We would also have scale checks every weekend to make sure we were prepared.”


Beckman’s Chamber Orchestra prepared vigorously for the concert.  “We rehearsed the pieces we had both in a group setting with the whole orchestra as well as individual sections where we had sections with a string coach that specialized in either viola, violin, cello, or bass,” said junior and violist Alan Wu.


The pieces that the orchestra played were Wu’s favorites because of their uniqueness. “It was fun to play some music that wasn’t classical,” said Wu. “The music also sounded more interesting to me as a performer and was more interesting to play.” Among the performers’ favorites were “Baba Yetu,” a song from the computer game “Civilization IV” and the theme song from “Final Fantasy VII”.


Freshman Kara Yi had originally attended the concert as an opportunity to receive extra credit and to reconnect with friends from her middle school who had gone to different high schools. She quickly realized the talent of the performers as they engaged the audience with lively musical pieces. “I had so much fun, and the music was amazing,” Yi said. “Music really united us all. It also helped me notice how to improve on my own [music] skills because I got to hear the music from the audience’s perspective.”


Audience members experienced a variety of musical styles from the pieces based on modern video games that Beckman and Orchard Hills played. The concert introduced the audience to music inspired by 21st-century video games that continue to excite students of many ages. The video game theme of the concert was a new approach to incorporate different styles of music and engage an audience that loved music and video games.