Performer Michael Allen Harrison again ‘comes home’ to Parkrose

Find out why this internationally-known recording artist makes
an annual pilgrimage to Parkrose High School …

When nearby young ladies saw us about to snap a candid photo of Michael Allen Harrison talking with a Parkrose High student in the Choir Room, seven additional gals glided into the frame.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
December’s wild and wooly weather shuttered an annual holiday event – internationally-known composer and recording artist Michael Allen Harrison’s annual concert.

Not to be denied the opportunity; Harrison made time in his schedule to attend the “Music in our School’s” winter concert on March 16.

“Coming back to Parkrose is part of the fabric of my life,” Harrison, one of Parkrose High’s most illustrious alums told us. “It’s part of my deal. It’s my hometown here; it’s a valued tradition with me.”

The Parkrose Honor Choir performs at the Parkrose High Theater.

First on the program was the Parkrose Honor Choir, drawn from Prescott, Russell, Sacramento, and Shaver Elementary schools. They sang two numbers, Everybody say Peace and I’ll make a Difference.

The Parkrose High School Treble Choir sings Lullay Alleluia.

Heaven Somewhere is being performed by the Parkrose High School A-Choir.

When Michael Allen Harrison sits down to play, the auditorium grows silent.

Harrison began by playing two of his own compositions, and then chatted with the audience.

He reminisced about going to school in Parkrose; this subject led him into presenting a novelty number, in which he demonstrated how he creates music, based on a single phrase of notes.

As always, the performance finished up with the return of the Honor Choir; they sang Follow the Drinking Gourd with Harrison.

“Even though it was delayed since December, we raised about $2,000 to help support our programs,” said choir director Lesley Bossert. “We really appreciate Michael Allen Harrison’s support of our musical program. Our students are deeply affected by his support and care about our musical program. He really connects with our musicians.”

You can learn more about Michael Allen Harrison by visiting his website: CLICK HERE.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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