Loyola orchestra incorporates video games into the mix

Starlight Williams

The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra will take to the stage with iconic pop melodies while also incorporating audience interactions into the show.

On Oct. 6, The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra will present “On the Big Screen” in Roussel Hall at 7:30 p.m. free of charge. The show will be the first orchestra concert in New Orleans to have an interactive element.

Audience members will be able play the “Super Smash Bros.” video game on the stage while the orchestra performs the accompanying tune.

Former Loyola student Chris Bergeron A’13 and music education senior Joseph Cieslak founded The New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra three years ago.

“It aims to show people that symphonic music doesn’t have to be the stuffy, pretentious art form it’s so often viewed as,” Cieslak said.

The idea of the volunteer orchestra began when Bergeron approached Cieslak about starting a program that allows students to receive conducting experience.

“We never expected the community to respond the way it did,” Cieslak said.

With 55 volunteer members from both inside and outside the Loyola community, the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra has raised more than $3,000 for the Make Music Nola charity.

“Meeting all the musicians and growing up with them was a humbling experience and great way to give back to the community,” Bergeron said.

Along with “Super Smash Bros.”, the orchestra will also be playing music from the “Phantom of the Opera,” “Harry Potter” and the “Danse Macabre,” a Halloween-themed piece.

“We wanted to prove that we could do anything we wanted to do,” Bergeron said.

Naasha Dotiwala, psychology sophomore, expressed curiosity about the interactive portion of the concert.

“I think it is an interesting concept, and I would like to see how they execute it,” Dotiwala said.