Community Orchestra performs carols and classics

You can’t hear the great music here, but you can take a look at the delightful Christmas concert presented by the East County Community Orchestra …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, the East County Community Orchestra begins their Holiday concert in outer East Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Playing to nearly a full house, in the David Douglas High School Howard Horner Performing Arts Center Theater, were members of the all-volunteer East County Community Orchestra (ECCO). It was Wednesday afternoon, December 12.

At 3:00 p.m., ECCO Conductor David L. Kinch began a Holiday concert entitled “A Musical Wonderland”.

Leading the orchestra is ECCO Conductor David L. Kinch.

Instead of dressing in “Classic Black”, many orchestra members opt for colorful Holiday attire.

As is their tradition, the show started off with the Star-Spangled Banner, which this year was followed with A Festive Fanfare for Symphony Orchestra.

Moving into a Holiday mood, the orchestra performed Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson, and then moved on to a medley called Suite of Carols, arranged also by Anderson.

Holding up cell phones with lights, audience members create “snowflake fireflies” as they join in “A Christmas Sing-Along”.

The first half of the concert concluded with “A Christmas Sing-Along”, which included Joy to the World; Oh Come, All Ye Faithful; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and Silent Night.

The lights in the auditorium came up, and concertgoers made their way into the lobby to enjoy tables laden with cookies and other treats, brought from home by the band’s musicians and their families for the audience to enjoy, along with steaming hot cups of coffee.

Concert guests are treated to cookies, candy, and coffee, affectionately provided by families of the orchestra’s musicians for the enjoyment of the attendees.

“I love Christmas; so, being part of an event that gets people to come together – especially when we do the sing-along – is just a magical experience for me,” smiled ECCO Conductor Kinch during intermission.

“As an organization, next year were looking to continue the growth that we’ve enjoyed this year,” Kinch told East Portland News. “This is my second year of being the Director and Conductor. As the orchestra becomes familiar with me, and I with them, we’re continuing to bring the ‘joy of music’ to the community.”

Conducting Festive Sounds of Hanukkah is guest conductor Curt Cassingham.

The second half of the performance started under the direction of Guest conductor Curt Cassingham, who led the band in Festive Sounds of Hanukkah, arranged by Bill Holcomb.

Next, from “Babes in Toyland”, the March of the Toys by Victor Herbert. Then, in a more classical direction, came themes by Tchaikovsky – A Mad Russians Christmas. This concert ended with a piece called 12 Daze, arranged by Conductor Kinch.

From carols to the classics, the ECCO delights the audience with Holiday music.

This orchestra, numbering about 60 players, rehearses ten months every year in order to perform in formal concerts and for other organizations.

“Because we’re a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we depends on the generosity of donors and the contributions we receive at concerts,” Kinch explained. “Sheet music, rehearsal space rental, and other costs, really add up – so we certainly appreciate all who contributed in the past year, and look forward to bringing you great music in 2019!”

Plan now to attend their upcoming spring concert to be held April 14, 2019; look for the announcement in the East Portland News Community Calendar.

To learn about ECCO, including ways to donate, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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