Dimensions in Sound and The Studio Orchestra, Inc. (DISSO) are two non-profit musical groups dedicated, respectively, to the preservation and presentation of classic big band music as well as the classical and “pops” orchestra music. We play concerts throughout the area with the mission of keeping music of past eras relevant today. We also provide a structure for musicians who want to volunteer their talents in their community with the opportunity to do so.
In 1977, former Van Hise Middle School music teacher Lonnie Nofzinger began the development of Dimensions in Sound and The Studio Orchestra. The groups grew out of a 1976 Hill Farms neighborhood Fourth of July parade where Lonnie created a marching band with parents of his band students. For over 35 years the groups, now led by Pat Backhaus and Mikko Utevski, have been playing music and delighting audiences throughout Dane County and beyond.
We play a variety of orchestra and studio music including big band era music and more.
- Dimensions in Sound consists of the typical instrumentation of the big band era – saxophone, trombone and trumpet sections, keyboard, guitar, bass and drums. We perform big band music of the ‘30s, ‘40s and early ‘50s. There are currently 17 musicians in the band.
- The Studio Orchestra features strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion sections. We perform a variety of musical arrangements ranging from classical and light classical, to Broadway show tunes, to popular standards. There are currently 35 musicians in the orchestra.
In addition to concerts for the general public, we specialize in delighting audiences at retirement homes and senior care assisted living centers with professional quality music. We enjoy being able to provide the extraordinary gift of music to those who are unable to travel, yet still have a desire to hear songs that conjure up memories and nostalgia.
Our tight-knit group is comprised of local citizens with a passion for playing – many of whom played an instrument in high school and decided to pick it back up again years down the road. Dimensions in Sound rehearses or performs on Tuesday evenings, September through May. The Studio Orchestra rehearses or performs every Wednesday evening, September through May. Both groups are also available for performances at other times. We welcome musicians of any instrument with a high school or more level of experience.
DISSO is a non-profit governed by a board of directors with underwriting by sponsors, both public and private, who help make our series of concerts and rehearsals possible. We are very appreciative of the support that enables us to pay our directors, rent rehearsal space and purchase rights to music and equipment. Every penny donated goes toward providing music to area residents.
Our focus is to bring professional quality music to nursing home and retirement center residents and their friends and families, an audience of those no longer able to seek out this type of music because of advanced age or disabilities.
The organization also provides a structure for musicians who want to volunteer their talents in their community the opportunity to do so.