East Portland’s own orchestra entertains full house

See why the East County Community Orchestra provides great symphonic music concerts – for free – and learn what you missed at their last concert …

East County Community Orchestra plays memorable movie themes during their last concert.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Winter concert of the East County Community Orchestra began at the Horner Performing Arts Center at David Douglas High School promptly at 7 p.m. on January 15 – playing to a full house.

Under the baton of director Jack Mahoney, the program started off, as always, with Star-Spangled Banner. They followed up with the song To Thee We Sing, taken from Russian liturgy.

Most seats were filled for the concert, at the DDHS Performing Arts Center auditorium.

The audience was then treated to a medley entitled Great Movie Marches that featured River Kwai March, Colonel Hathi’s March (the “elephant song” from The Jungle Book), Star-Trek – The Motion Picture, and Raiders March.

The group turned its talent to Symphony No.9 in E Minor by Anton Dvorak.  A Walsh Rhapsody followed. And the medley, Salute to the Cinema – featuring Hooray for Hollywood, Singin’ in the Rain, Over the Rainbow, As Time Goes By, and A Day in the Life of a Fool – rounded out the first half of the program.

Patrons consume copious amounts of cookies before filtering back into the auditorium for the program’s second half.

East County Community Orchestra’s director, Jack Mahoney, leads the group with vigor.

Between the first and second half of each program, the musicians took a break and mingled with concertgoers who were treated to tables laden with cookies and baked treats.

During the break, Mahoney told us that 2010 marks the 32nd year of the East County Orchestra. “All of us here are thankful that this opportunity to play great music is still available. And we take the opportunity to thank all of our patrons for their continuing support, evidenced by coming to our concerts.”

At the beginning of the second half of the evening’s program, the orchestra turned its talent to the more classical offerings of Overture Eroica,  Mozart’s Alleluia, and March and Procession of Bacchus.

The stirring Deep River Suite was next, concluding with the stirring Emblem of Unity Concert March.

After the program, Mahoney remarked that many people may not realize that the orchestra members are both amateur and professional musicians from the Portland and Vancouver area. “They volunteer their time their effort and provide their expertise. The orchestra includes 60 musicians, the oldest one is just now heading for his 94th birthday. The orchestra is a nonprofit organization, and we welcome donations to help defray operating expenses.”

Keep your eye on our Community Calendar for the next performance of the East County Community Orchestra!

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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