The Missoula Symphony Orchestra is heading outside this Friday.
"Symphony Under the Big Sky" will bring the orchestra to Big Sky Brewing Company Amphitheater, backing Grammy-winning trumpet player Chris Botti.
"Missoula has never experienced the symphony quite like this," said Mark Dinerstein, president of Knitting Factory Presents.
When the production company renovated the outdoor venue at Big Sky Brewing Company last year, he said they began looking at community groups for potential collaborations. Elsewhere around the country, they've worked with Broadway musical productions and symphonies, which made the Missoula orchestra an obvious choice.
The improvements that Knitting Factory made at Big Sky include a grassy amphitheater bowl and a significantly larger stage, which can fit a symphony's worth of musicians.
A 48-member contingent of the orchestra will back Botti's band with direction by his conductor, Albert George Schram.
The set list will check off many of Botti's greatest hits. Some examples are movie music, like "Gabriel's Oboe" from "The Mission" and a selection from "Cinema Paradiso," both composed by soundtrack legend Ennio Morricone. Some of the jazz standards on tap include "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "The Look of Love."
Botti has become famous for his collaborations in a variety of genres, whether jazz (Herbie Hancock), classical (Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma) or pop (Sting, Paul Simon).
"I'm excited that we have a chance to collaborate with a guest artist of this stature in an environment where we can really reach (a lot of) people," said Darko Butorac, the symphony's music director. "It's a large space, it's a big artist. As far as raising the profile of the symphony, this is an important step for us."
John Driscoll, executive director of the symphony association, said he envisions the event as a Symphony Pops on a summer night. Both he and Knitting Factory hope the event can become an annual one, a guest-star complement to its popular Symphony in the Park, its free annual concert in Caras.
The symphony is always open to new collaborations and a diverse range of music, Driscoll said.
At Friday's concert, audience members can buy a reserved seat close to the stage or a general-admission lawn seat.