A Year of Growth for Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia


Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO) provides musical education, technical training and performance opportunities for aspiring, young musicians. The group offers a variety of intensive classes and training programs for elementary, middle and high-school-aged youth.

SOGO aims to prepare students for careers in classical music. Its programs focus on artistic development, ear training, ensemble and orchestra preparation, music education and theory. 

“I am so pleased with how much all of our musicians have grown this year,” says SOGO’s new musical director, Cameron May. “Our youngest students in the debut orchestra, the aspiring artists of the academy orchestra and the ever-popular, brass-choir members are all reaching new heights, and this generates a great deal of excitement throughout the organization.”

The debut orchestra features elementary and middle-school students, the academy orchestra comprises advanced middle-school students and intermediate high-schoolers and the conservatory is for advanced high-school students. Placement is audition-based, and rehearsals are held weekly for each level throughout the season. 

This year’s spring concert features Mozart’s overture to The Magic Flute, Elgar’s Nimrod, Sibelius’ Finlandia and Plog’s Triple Concerto for Trumpet, Horn, Trombone and Orchestra.

“The main focal point,” says May, “is a triple concerto by contemporary composer Anthony Plog, featuring my graduating, principal brass players Carter Rowell [on] trumpet, Emma Tranum [on] horn and Ian Rigg [on] trombone, all of whom are long-time SOGO members.” Three classic pieces and one contemporary selection will allow performers to learn by exploring new styles of music under May’s direction.

May adds, “The end result from the perspective of the audience, I hope, is four very-different-sounding pieces that help us celebrate our musicians and the tremendous year we’ve had as an organization.” 

The 2018-2019 season brought new experiences for audience members and SOGO students alike. The advanced conservatory performed diverse pieces from around Europe and the U.S. May wanted to focus on helping students and listeners grow musically by performing different works than SOGO has done in the past. This upcoming performance will be a great way for the community to experience new music and hear the results of all the hard work students put in throughout the year.  


SOGO Spring Concert


The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,

512 Washington St. SE, Olympia


4 p.m. Sunday, May 10


Free – $16




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