East Portland music groups present joint concert

We can’t bring you the great music played by this outer East Portland orchestra and big band during their spring concert – but, you’ll see great photos here. And, both groups have concerts coming up in May and June …

At the Horner Auditorium in the Hazelwood neighborhood, the concert begins with music by the East County Community Orchestra.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Concerts presented by members of the East County Community Orchestra and Portland Metro Concert Band bring our community wonderful music. And, both organizations performed a concert together on April 4 at David Douglas High School Horner Auditorium – providing twice the fun.

The performance started off at 3:00 p.m. before a large audience. The East County Community Orchestra (ECCO), under the baton of Director David L. Kinch, provided the downbeat.

That Orchestra’s half of the program began with a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, immediately followed by Hopak and the Great Gate of Kiev.

ECCO Director David L. Kinch leads the orchestra in the classical composition Finlandia.

The all-volunteer musicians moved on to the Jean Sibelius composition Finlandia; and then performed the medley Fantasy on American Sailing Songs. Toes were tapping as the orchestra launched into selections from the Broadway musical, “Mama Mia”, with the tunes of ABBA.

Jupiter from The Planets by Gustav Holst was next, and the orchestra’s portion of the program ended with a stirring rendition of Battle Hymn of the Republic.

As much as they enjoy the music, concert-goers also like the cookies and coffee provided during intermission.

The audience then flooded the auditorium’s lobby to socialize, meet the musicians, and enjoy the many cookies and baked goods spread across several tables.

During the break, Portland Metro Concert Band (PMCB) clarinetist Tom Dechenne reminded us how this joint concert with the ECCO and PMCB began.

“Several years ago, we applied for, and received, a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition,” Dechenne reminded East Portland News.

In addition to contributions from by members of the audience at concerts, a cultural grant helps to fund the performances, says PMCB clarinetist Tom Dechenne.

“One of the provisions of the grant was to provide a free concert for the entire community, for the enhancement of the arts, open to people of all ages and backgrounds,” Dechenne said. “Although both organizations do accept donations, all of our concerts are free to the public. We do this to bring more people out to enjoy the arts – in our case, music!”

Starting the second half of the concert, Portland Metro Concert Band Assistant Director Eben A. Fernando Heldreth leads the musicians.

After the intermission, the Portland Metro Concert Band took the stage, being conducted initially by Assistant Director Eben A. Fernando Heldreth. The PMCB began with the Chorale and Shaker Dance II by John Zdechlik. After this suite came Ammerland by Jacob de Haan – which was composed to give the listener an impression of the enchanting region around Zwischenahner Lake in Germany, explained Heldreth.

PMCB plays songs, both obscure and well known during their concert.

Then, PMCB’s Director Glenn A. Taylor took the podium and led the big band through The Floral Dance, The Lords of Greenwich, and October by Eric Whitacre – a contemporary piece for concert band written in 2000.

The concert continued with Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla, an Argentine tango composer, who wrote the music in 1982 – music which became part of the soundtrack of the Mario Bellocchio film, “Enricho”, conductor Taylor revealed.

The PMCB directed the band in a stirring rendition of the John Philip Sousa march, The Stars and Stripes Forever, to conclude the concert.

Conducting this really big and is PMCB Director Glenn A. Taylor.

Much more music in May and June

On Saturday, May 19, the Portland Metro Concert Band offers their Spring Concert. This BIG band’s FREE show gets underway at 3:00 p.m. Hear a mixture of classical music, pop tunes, and musical standards. It’ll be in the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 SE 130th Avenue, between SE Division and Stark Streets. For more information, see the PMCB official website: CLICK HERE.

Hear the lush music played by the East County Community Orchestra at their June concert.

And, on June 3 at 3:00 p.m., don’t miss the FREE “Late Spring Concert” by the 56-member East County Community Orchestra, also presented in the Horner Performing Arts Center. For more information, see the official ECCO website: CLICK HERE.

While the concerts, cookies, and coffee are free, donations are welcomed and appreciated by both these nonprofit and all-volunteer organizations.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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