Do you go to conventions? Do you like anime music or videogame music? And last but definitely not least, can you play an instrument?
If you do, you might want to try playing for the Symphonic Anime Orchestra, or SAO for short. Created in 2005, this traveling “orchestra” takes musicians of all ages and backgrounds. Con-goers apply in advance to join the orchestra based on which convention they plan on attending, and later receive an email detailing whether or not they have been accepted (as long as musicians meet minimum requirements, they are always accepted). A month before the convention, sheet music is emailed out to all the volunteers and parts are practiced. Orchestra members usually don’t get a chance to meet each other until the actual convention starts!
Once the con has started, members are expected to attend around six or seven hours of rehearsal, and on the last day of the convention, the orchestra performs a concert filled with specially-arranged videogame and anime music. SAO also offers panels titled “Write your own anime music” and “Anime music appreciation” at the conventions that they attend.
Although I haven’t been able to see SAO live yet, I hope to attend or maybe even participate in one of their concerts someday! SAO will be at Katsucon this year, a nearby convention held in DC from February 14 – February 16.