WE’RE ALL NERDS IN SEATTLE. So we’re not picking on anyone. But 40,000 of us in the Puget Sound region work for Microsoft (big-banner nerds) and close to 70 of those thousands work for Microsoft and are in the company’s orchestra (nerds-squared with “Kick Me” signs taped to their Aeron-chair-loving backs). For conductor Jim Truher the orchestra’s merely an extension of his life outside his MS program manager gig; most recently he held the title of interim conductor of the South Valley Symphony in California.
For the rest, well, let’s just say this is the first time many members have picked up an instrument since high school marching band. To fend off reed squeaks and cello squeals, the group practices on the Microsoft campus every Monday night. The hard work pays off when they dazzle concert audiences several times a year, sawing out tunes ranging from classical staples—Brahms, Mozart—to the righteous sounds of sci-fi—the whole bloody Jurassic Park soundtrack.
This month you can hear these melodious keyboard jockeys perform holiday music, including “Winter” by Edward German and Rimsky-­Korsakov’s Christmas Eve Suite, at one of three free performances at the Microsoft auditorium in Redmond (for details visit www.msorchestra.org). But don’t expect to hear from the fairest geek of them all. Truher invited Bill Gates to join the group, but “understandably, he doesn’t have the time and it’s been a while since he’s picked up his trombone.”

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