SOGO HoHo Holiday Variety Show

by Jonah Barrett for OLY ARTS

The holidays kick off with a roar at the 2017 Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO) holiday show, sponsored by Tumwater Eye Center, Academy Mortgage Corporation, and PCS Structure Solutions. The SOGO HoHo event acts as a variety show with holiday cheer to delight all attendees. The performing SOGO group consists of a student brass choir with approximately 20 students from a variety of different schools and four teaching artists.

“When you think about it, whenever you hear a brass group playing, it sounds like Christmas. That’s the sound of the holidays for a lot of people,” said conductor Greg Allison. “The holiday show is one of the kids’ favorite events to put on because it’s so different than usual concerts.” Audiences can expect a mixture of familiar holiday tunes and nontraditional songs presented in one sitting.

The show also features vocals by Megan Wakefield, arrangements by Mark Thome and a special reading of The Night Before Christmas by mayor Cheryl Selby. The event traditionally ends in a sing-along, with audience participation strongly encouraged.

When asked to speak to the challenges of creating such a show, Allison shared, “The hardest thing about this show is trying to make sure that it’s workable for the students, because they’re brass players – they can’t play all the time. They’ll just wear out. It’s all those details, putting them all together and finding appropriate music.”

Nevertheless, the challenges pay off in the end. Now in its 17th year, the community-building event has created a beloved family tradition for the people of Olympia, with multi-generational families coming back for the performances year after year to create visceral holiday memories.

“Things from this program are different than just being on a stage playing classical music. The uniqueness of the event is what I think the students remember and look forward to,” Allison said. “You’ll miss it if you miss it!”

WHAT SOGO HoHo Holiday Variety Show

WHERE Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1925 Boulevard Rd. SE, Olympia

WHEN 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2

HOW MUCH $5-$25

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