Metro Concert Band again delights East Portland music lovers

See why more and more people attend concerts presented by this band of mostly mature musicians do perform for the love of the music …

A good sized audience, in the Howard Horner Performing Arts Center at David Douglas High School, awaits another fine concert by the Portland Metro Concert Band.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When the featured concert of the Portland Metro Concert Band got underway at the Howard Horner Performing Arts Center, they played to nearly full house, not long ago.

Co-director Jack Mahoney conducts the first half of the evening’s program.

Under the baton of band’s co-director, Jack Mahoney, the ensemble led off with the Star-Spangled Banner, and followed up with a lively Pan American Spanish March.

What followed those constituted a salute to American classical composer Aaron Copland – A Copland Tribute.

The brass section of the Metro Concert Band punctuates Irving Berlin tunes.

Continuing with the American composers theme, next came a medley entitled Irving Berlin, The Early Years – including such tunes as Say It with Music, A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody, When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam’, Playing A Simple Melody, and the lively Alexander’s Ragtime Band.

Next was Robert Smith’s Southwest Summer, followed by Shannon Knowles’ Simple Gifts. The first half of the program wrapped up with a New Orleans style rendition of Just A Closer Walk with Thee.

During intermission, the crowd of almost 300 concertgoers head into the lobby and help themselves to wonderful selection of cookies and sweet treats, coffee, and juice.

Co-director Jay Burchak conducts the band during the program’s second half.

The second half of the program, under the baton of Jay Burchak, started off with a Mexican march entitled Zacatecas.

It was followed by a well-received medley entitled Sinatra in Concert – then Frank Ticheli’s Loch Lomond, Kentucky Sunrise and Way Down yonder in New Orleans.

In turn came another medley, Seems Like Old Time, with a moving arrangement of Amazing Grace. The program ended with Radetzky’s March.

These programs are supported by donations that come from concertgoers, the Multnomah County Cultural Commission, and the Oregon Cultural Trust. Watch our Community Calendar for the date of their next program, later this year.

The Portland Metro Concert Band stands and takes a well deserved bow.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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