Last week, the Evergreen Philharmonic performed a concert featuring tracks from Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™. If you didn’t get a chance to see them perform live, you can watch a recording of the concert below!
About the Evergreen Philharmonic
My name is Drew Cady, and I am a sound designer for ArenaNet. I’ve also worked with Doug Longman and the Issaquah school district for decades. Putting my two passions together seemed to be so natural.
Every year, Mr. Longman and I have produced a CD of the Evergreen Philharmonic. I’m grateful to work with such an openminded director. Our relationship over the years has always been making the orchestra sound as best we can, so each year we have tried new things, added more microphones, and pushed the bar up. This concert was an extension of that, to try something new in a live setting.
As composers Maclaine Diemer and Lena Chappelle started to produce sheet music to record the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns themes, I was intrigued by the possibility of the Evergreen Philharmonic playing this music too. When Mr. Longman and I mixed the next year’s CD, I played a few themes from the live recording done in Germany. I would tickle his ear every so often when we were having a break.
He was interested, and the seed of the idea was planted. Mr. Longman said, “Let’s see what we can do next year.” Once we had the date set, the orchestra started to practice.
There are 74 students in this year’s orchestra. Mr. Longman and I wanted this to sound as big in person as we could. We wired a total of 19 mics, reprogrammed the mixing console, and rehearsed with the students. One of the students, Brandon Hu, was very helpful in setting up microphones, and another couple of students also helped out behind the scenes.
I also put together a slide show that would follow each theme to back up the location and feel. Stage manager Caitlyn Skinner programmed the lights to match the slide show color palette, and ran cues during the show following the score. Dylan Hepworth and I mixed the audio together, ensuring the melody would be heard as it weaved through the instruments. Both of these students went above and beyond, making the event very memorable.
I really enjoyed working with the students and mentoring along the way, and I was so pleased to share my passions with the students and the audience.
You can watch the documentary Nature of the Sound to see more of the Evergreen Philharmonic!