Metro Concert Band brings great music to outer East Portland

This band won’t be playing again until the fall – but here’s why you should watch for their listing in upcoming Community Calendars …

Co-director Jay Burchak leads the mighty Portland Metro Concert Band in a rousing march.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A couple of weeks ago, the parking lot outside of the Howard Horner Performing Arts Center on the campus of David Douglas High School was filling up, as patrons prepared to enjoy the Spring Concert of the Portland Metro Concert Band.

Now, the Metro Concert Band isn’t just a couple of musicians who toot tunes under a gazebo – this is a stage-sized ensemble of professional musicians who provide a first-class performance of widely varied musical selections.

This mighty band puts plays a wide variety of music very smartly.

At exactly 7:30 p.m., that summer evening, Co-director Jay Burchak raised his baton, and the concert was underway.

The program consisted of seven numbers. Under the baton of co-director Jay Burchak, the first half of the concert included a march by Jon Philip Sousa, a medley of Broadway tunes, a salute to big bands, and selections from the Broadway musical, “Oliver”.

During intermission, volunteers supply coffee and cookies as band and audience members mingle in the lobby.

Leading the band during the concert’s second half is co- Co-director Fev Pratt.

Co-director Fev Pratt took the baton after the intermission.

The band played six more selections, including portions of eight songs from the popular musical, “Annie”. The second half also featured the energetic Wagnerian classic, “Ride of the Valkyries”. This set closed with a fast-paced march that conjured up memories of attending the circus.

Although 250 people attended the concert, there was room for even more people to enjoy the fine music this great band presents.

It’s great to find terrific band music like this performed so well in the outer eastside of Portland. As word gets out about the band’s free shows – and the great refreshments during intermission – we suspect the auditorium might be filled at the next concert in the fall.

The Portland Metro Concert Band plays music of many genres, from the classics to popular show tunes.

Supported by donations
The band is supported by donations, including a grant from East Portland Neighbors, Inc., and by donations taken at the door.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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