Shenandoah Conservatory and the Esports program at Shenandoah University partner to present We Play Together: A Collaboration Between Music and Esports. This seminal, cross-disciplinary project seeks to explore the similarities in practice, pedagogy and performance in music and esports. The event will be livestreamed from the Shenandoah University Esports Arena on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28.
The event features a solo performance of J.S. Bach’s “Prelude to Partita No. 3 in E Major” and Eugène Ysaÿe’s “Ballade from Sonata No. 3 in D Minor” by violinist Jonathan Toomer ’21 (Bachelor of Music in Performance) followed by an esports game performance with Brad Blanchard ’23 (Bachelor of Science in Esports) playing Overwatch and Alexander Krecek ’22 (Bachelor of Science in Esports) playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. A live moderated Q&A with the artists, gamers and collaborators will follow the performances.
The increasing popularity of video games, esports and video game music provides new, innovative and diverse ways of exploring and discussing sound and performance practice. We hope this collaboration will help bridge the gap between the traditional and the modern notions of game and music performance.”
J. Aaron Hardwick, M.M. | Adjunct Instructor and Teaching Fellow of Instrumental Ensembles
The project seeks to facilitate transdisciplinary collaboration and study of performance practice and pedagogical ingenuity that is beneficial to both music and esports students and faculty. It presents students an innovative approach to study, highlighting the future of collaborative and diversified learning in the 21st century.
This is such an innovative form of collaboration between the esports program and the conservatory here at Shenandoah. Aaron has led the way in bringing this project together and we could not be more excited to see the outcomes. This is just another way that Shenandoah University Esports truly goes beyond gaming.”
Joey Gawrysiak, Ph.D. | Director of Esports
The project was envisioned by Hardwick and facilitated by Gawrysiak. Panelists include:
- Shenandoah University student performers
- Esports Head Coach and Assistant Director Zach Harrington
- Instructor of Esports Chris Scroggins, M.S.
- Assistant Professor of Trumpet Mary Elizabeth Bowden, M.A.
- Associate Director of Performing Arts Medicine and Assistant Professor Division of Athletic Training Michele Pye, Ph.D.
We Play Together: A Collaboration Between Music and Esports premieres online at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, and audiences can access the free livestream via the Shenandoah University YouTube channel, Shenandoah Esports Twitch channel and Shenandoah Conservatory Facebook page. Audiences are invited to submit questions via the Twitch chat section and Facebook comments.
The Shenandoah University esports program consists of competitive varsity teams and academic esports programs, and is housed in the Esports Arena on the Winchester campus. The mission of the esports program is to go beyond gaming and provide students with an opportunity to develop academically, competitively and professionally in order to become innovators and leaders in the esports ecosystem. Visit www.su.edu/esports to learn more.
Shenandoah Conservatory is home to more than 600 students enrolled in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs in the areas of music, theatre and dance. Virginia’s oldest and premier center for performing arts training, the conservatory is led by a dynamic faculty composed of performers and scholars of national and international repute. Visit su.edu/conservatory for more information.