The Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia are celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts with a big 2-5 of their own.
In this case, actually, it’s a big II-V: the premiere of the II-V Fanfare for Brass Choir and Jazz Quartet, by Olympia composer Mark Thome.
The numbers refer to a common chord progression that goes from the second note to the fifth note of the scale, said SOGO artistic director Greg Allison.
“Almost the entire piece is built off that one progression,” he said. “It’s a musical inside joke.”
The piece will be played by the student Brass Choir and an adult jazz quartet featuring clarinetist Jeff Brooks of Olympia, who just received a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Florida State University.
The concert will feature about 160 student musicians in all, plus a handful of adult coaches who work and play with the students.
Also jazzing things up will be a collaboration by the jazz quartet and the Academy Orchestra on “An American Rhapsody” by Richard Meyer.
“The quartet is doing an introduction that uses themes from that,” Allison said. “And the quartet will take off and do a little bit in the middle, and they play with us at the end on that piece.
“The full orchestra has never done anything with the jazz combo.”
Brooks, who arranged the new jazz components to go with Meyer’s piece, said SOGO’s fall concert is part of a new direction in music.
“I think there’s a new trend that’s happening in the music world, a fusion happening: jazz with classical, rock with country,” he wrote in a press release. “I’m glad SOGO is a part of that.”
Another unusual piece is Robert Kurka’s Concerto for Marimba, featuring marimba player Drew Norton, a senior at Capital High School.
“You don’t hear a marimba solo with orchestra very often,” Allison said.
“It’s a contemporary work,” he said. “It has some jazz tendencies, too. It’s a little bit more esoteric, but it will draw the audience in to have this huge marimba at the front of the stage.
“The kids in the orchestra marvel at watching Drew play.”
SOGO Fall Concert
What: The Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia concert, which brings in jazzy elements along with classical ones, features the II-V Fanfare for Brass Choir and Jazz Quartet composed by Mark Thome in honor of the 25th anniversary of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia
Tickets: $6.50-$16.50 for adults, $4.50-$12.50 for students and seniors, free for children 8 and younger
Also: “The Little Pernambuco Tree,” a children’s book written by Robert Ray of Olympia and illustrated by local children, and a recording of the original music Thome composed to go with it, will be for sale at the concert.