Submitted by Olympia Symphony Orchestra

The Olympia Symphony Orchestra is bringing live small group musical performances by local musicians back to our community, in their newly-developed “Big Music in Small Groups” program. The return of live music has been eagerly awaited by musicians and the community since the widespread shutdown of live concerts and public gatherings in March.

The program launched on June 20, with a surprise performance of “Happy Birthday” and Handel’s Passacaile at Toyota of Olympia, for Toyota employee Lindsey Lampman. Lindsey, a 2017 graduate of River Ridge High School and former student apprentice violist with the OSO, received a surprise performance from an ensemble which included her former viola teacher, Lisa Dyvig, as a gift from her parents. Following this performance, the OSO musicians traveled to a private residence, performing Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance for a curbside commencement honoring a recent college graduate. Ensembles are comprised of OSO musicians, who are eager and excited to be performing together again.

Big Music in Small Groups provides connection and engagement between our musicians and community. Having a way to celebrate those big and little moments of life — graduations, birthdays, 4th of July, or just because — in a unique and personal way fills a critical niche in the midst of current social restrictions,” says Olympia Symphony Administrative Assistant Renée Zimmerman. “People have been so excited and grateful for these live local music deliveries — it brings a smile to your face to be a part of it!”

Music “deliveries” will continue through July 4, with a musical menu that includes patriotic favorites such as Stars & Stripes Forever, the Armed Forces Medley, and the Star-Spangled Banner. After July 4, the OSO invites the public to request customized repertoire for private or neighborhood events. Prior to Thurston County’s advancement to Phase 3, gatherings were limited to no more than five non-household members. With Thurston County’s transition into Phase 3, gatherings may now include larger numbers of attendees, provided social distancing and face-covering requirements are met.

The OSO plans to continue this program with outdoor performances throughout the summer. As part of their ongoing mission as a 501c3 nonprofit arts organization, they will also offer free performances to underserved and underrepresented populations in Olympia, with generous funding provided by a grant from the City of Olympia.

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