Olga Symphony and Friends at Orcas Center

Hold on to your hats, Orcas: the Olga Symphony and Friends are back just in time to get your holidays off and running.

The local group who unabashedly proclaims that “music is much too important to be left entirely in the hands of the professionals” takes to the Orcas Center stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights immediately after Thanksgiving.

Ever the slaves of tradition, the band assures the public that many things about this year’s concert will remain unchanged. The symphony will present new additions to their repertoire as well as familiar favorites. Local friends Martin Lund and Jim Bredouw join fiddling favorite JP Wittman as well as surprise guests to round out an evening of tunes, songs and original compositions.

Proceeds from the events, as with all Olga Symphony performances, will be donated to island charities and non-profits. Ticket prices remain the same as every year for the past ten years: $5 each.

Islanders familiar with the symphony’s brand of eclectic music will not be surprised to hear that the concerts will feature a variety of instruments from accordion to ukulele. Rumors are rife that the concert will include a return of the oft-maligned but never pointless musical saw. Formal wear will prevail on stage, and the audience is invited to look in the back of their closets for that tux, evening dress, or new pair of Levi’s.

“I’m really looking forward to this year’s shows,” band member Dave Zoeller said. “I always told my children that some day people would pay to hear me sing, and they still don’t believe me.”

Tickets are available through the Orcas Center box office or online; theconcerts sell out early, so fans are reminded to avoid procrastination.