Local ‘Sinfonietta’ begins 45th season

Haven’t heard music played by the Oregon Sinfonietta? Find out why people flock to their performances in the Mill Park neighborhood …

The audience files in for another free concert of great classical music presented in outer East Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The Oregon Sinfonietta began the celebration of its 45th Season at its venue of choice for years, the Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

As the auditorium filled on the afternoon of November 5, Sinfonietta members began warming up, to perform the selections they’d been rehearsing at Concordia University.

Before the concert begins, Larry Greep, principal clarinet, looks over a score with The Oregon Sinfonietta’s conductor, Dr. Donald L. Appert.

“One of the reasons for our organization to exist is for the musicians themselves – this is an opportunity for the musicians to make music together,” smiled the conductor, Dr. Donald L. Appert.

“Obviously, our musicians feel this is important, because none of them are paid for it, except for myself and the concertmaster,” Appert told East Portland News. “The other reason we’re here is that we bring music to the community that isn’t typically brought forward by other organizations. We have a reputation for presenting an unusual, and great, repertoire!”

Harpist Kimberly Houser makes her instrument ready for the concert.

Concertmaster Darrell Hunt helps the orchestra tune up.

The afternoon’s concert featured Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b, by Ludwig van Beethoven; Sergei Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 30; and A London Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

What does Appert enjoy most about all this? “Presenting this wonderful music to our audience, while working with the musicians to bring it to a level of accuracy, musicality, and expertise that will help create a memorable experience for them, as it will for our audiences.”

The Oregon Sinfonietta Conductor, Dr. Donald L. Appert, provides the downbeat that begins an afternoon of great music.

Music is an ephemeral and very temporal form of art,” Appert mused. “It’s not like a painting, that you can look at every day and admire; musicians have this timeframe in which we perform a piece of music, in just a finite length of time.

“This truly is performance art; and in some ways that’s the worst part – when it’s over, it’s over,” Appert commented.

The conductor had high praise for their venue. “I love this church and its wonderful acoustics,” Appert exclaimed. “And they been very supportive to us over the years; I’ve lost track how long we’ve been performing here.”

Another concert by The Oregon Sinfonietta is underway.

With that, it was time for him to mount the conductor’s podium for what Appert called “A shared experience between the audience and the musicians.”

Their next free concert is on March 18. For more information, visit their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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