East Portland’s orchestra delights crowd with seasonal, pop and classical selections

See what those who filled the Horner Auditorium got to hear – at this free concert by a terrific all-volunteer musical organization …

Decked out for the Holidays, John Johnson welcomes guests to the 2011 Winter Concert by the East County Orchestra.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The auditorium at the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center quickly filled, as the start of the 2011 Winter Concert of the East County Orchestra drew near on December 17.

“We try to offer our guests a wide variety of music at each concert,” explained the Conductor of the 55-member orchestra, Jack Mahoney, as he headed for his podium, moments before the concert was scheduled to begin.

Professional musician and music instructor Jack Mahoney conducts the East County Orchestra.

Their program began with The Star Spangled Banner.

Then, the orchestra presented three classic pieces – La Sorella March on Spanish Themes by Borel-Clerc; Procession of the Nobles by Rimsky-Korsakov, and Summertime in Venice by Sigman & Pinchlicini.

Next came a medley, “Highlights from ‘Showboat’”, including Cotton Blossom, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, Make Believe, Old Man river, Why Do I love You? and After the Ball.

Concerts by this orchestra continues to draw a full house of music lovers.

The East County Orchestra performs light classical music favorites.

Closing out the first half of the concert was “Irving Berlin – a Symphonic Portrait”, which included, There is No Business Like Show Business, Say it With Music, Alexander’s Rag Time Band, Easter Parade, White Christmas, and God Bless America.

At intermission, orchestra volunteers set out coffee, punch, and tables-full of cookies. As the guests noshed, they talked with the performers. By the time the second half of the program began, nary a treat remained.

The intermission gives concert-goers the opportunity to mingle – and to enjoy tasty snacks.

During the break, Maestro Mahoney pointed out that “2010 marks the 32nd year that the East County Orchestra has been in existence. The community support we’ve received is wonderful, as evidenced by the large attendance this evening.”

The second half of the concert featured Holiday selections, including, Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming, Feliz Navidad, and a “Christmas Memories Medley”, composed of Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’  to Town, Here Comes Santa Claus, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

The orchestra treats listeners to holiday music selections.

This was followed by “Holiday Cheers” – a medley of Winter Wonderland and Sleigh Ride. With the audience now in a Holiday mood, and with lyric sheets in hand, guests were invited to participate in a sing-along – Mitch Miller style.

Closing out the program was Radetzky March, by Johann Strauss, Sr.

All of the orchestra members are amateur and professional musicians from the Portland and Vancouver area who volunteer their time and effort. The East County Community Orchestra is a non-profit organization, and welcomes donations to help defray operating costs.

Keep an eye on the East Portland News Community Calendar – and perhaps you’ll be among these happy folks who enjoy the next program presented by this fine musical organization.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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