Ryan McGaughey

Guest artist Ryan McGaughey will present “An Adventure Through Video Game Music” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the Music Recital Hall at SFA.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Pianist Ryan McGaughey will present “An Adventure Through Video Game Music” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the Music Recital Hall on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.
McGaughey, who teaches piano at Humboldt State University in Northern California, also performs and writes music for video games. Most of the music on the program is from relatively recent video games, all of them being released in the past six years.
“Despite the program containing music being written recently, the music varies a lot in style and feel,” McGaughey said. “The program will have music from some big name composers in the video game music space, such as Toby Fox, Lena Raine and two of my personal favorites, Keiichi Okabe and Christopher Larkin. The music may be from video games, but the solo piano arrangements that I’ll be performing are arranged in a very classical piano style and therefore can be enjoyed by both video gamers and classical music lovers.”
McGaughey earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Humboldt and a master’s in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music. He has been a featured soloist with the Eureka Symphony, Humboldt Symphony and the North State Symphony, and he has participated in the Round Top Music Festival in Texas and the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine. He has participated in many master classes and taken lessons from many world renowned pianists and distinguished piano instructors.
McGaughey, who started studying piano at age 12, was not very interested at first in the music he was performing. “It was not until I came across a video online of someone who called himself the Video Game Pianist (aka Martin Leung) playing music from Super Mario Bros. on piano, that I realized I could play music from my favorite video games on piano,” he said. “Through the Video Game Pianist, who was and still is a fantastic classical pianist, I discovered the music of Franz Liszt, Frédéric Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn, and realized I loved classical music. I then got into playing classical music, as well, and went on to get degrees in music and piano performance.
“If it was not for video game music and the composers, performers and arrangers that so passionately dedicate their time to it, I would not be playing piano right now and not involved in the community as a piano teacher and accompanist,” he said.
McGaughey further described his recital program as “not quite your traditional solo piano concert.”
“There’s going to be a lot of music, but also visuals, giveaways and ‘battles’ that will involve the audience,” he said. “It’s likely going to be a type of ‘solo piano concert’ that you’ve never seen before, but I hope it will be a fun and entertaining event for everyone who attends.”
The Music Recital Hall is located in the Wright Music Building. Admission is free. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.