New conductor enlivens Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra

INCLUDES VIDEO | If you missed their first concert of the season, you can both learn about this great musical organization and listen to it here …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, a large audience gathers for the season’s opening concert of the Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The main auditorium of the Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church began to fill with concert-goers the afternoon of October 22, all anticipating the new season for the Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra (SSO).

Musicians were getting their instruments ready, checking their scores, and warming up before the afternoon concert got underway.

Before the concert, SSO Musical Director Jonathan DeBruyn hosts a “pre-concert talk” with the audience, telling about the afternoon’s music.

“This is a special day for me because today is my first opportunity to appear as the Music Director of the Sunnyside Symphony, an orchestra I love to work with, conductor Jonathan DeBruyn told East Portland News before the concert.

“There’s such an incredible dynamic and wonderful character to their whole organization; so, I am really, really excited to bring this program this afternoon,” DeBruyn enthused.

“I came to be chosen for this position because it through a finalist process for several conductors were brought in each to connect to different concert,” DeBruyn explained. “I was fortunate enough to be invited to come on as their music director after that.”

Planning ahead for the season
“We have an incredible amount of really exciting music plan for the season; including one of them in collaboration with the Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland, doing a Beethoven Mass,” previewed DeBruyn. “We will be doing the Saint-Saens ‘Organ’ Symphony (No. 3) at the end of our season,” he added.

“And, we’ll be doing a composition by my own father, Randall DeBruyn, called St. John’s Suite – that’ll be a world premiere, I’ll be excited to bring that to the world as well.”

New this season, before the concert started, DeBruyn gave a “pre-concert talk” at 3:15 p.m. in which he discussed the music, the composers, and behind the scenes notes about their orchestra.

SSO first violin and concertmaster is Matt Mandrones welcomes the audience to the concert and tells about their organization.

Jonathan DeBruyn conducts the Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra.

Then, at 4:00 p.m., DeBruyn conducted the program, which included:

  • Two selections by Georges Bizet: Symphony in C; and “Je Dis” from Carmen, with Saori DeBruyn, Soprano.
  • Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “New World Symphony”.


Soloist Soprano Saori DeBruyn emotes as she sings “Je Dis” from Carmen.

Watch the excellent, multi-camera production of this concert, produced by the  Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church video crew:

December 10: Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert

Be part of the audience during their December 10 Holiday concert.

Their new season continues with another ‘Pre-concert Talk’ at 3:15 p.m. by conductor Jonathan DeBruyn

At 4:00 p.m., DeBruyn will conduct this great orchestra in Holiday favorites.

The program includes: Samuel Coleridge – Taylor – Christmas Overture; Ralph Vaughan – Williams – Fantasia on “Greensleeves”; Remo Giazzotto – Adagio for Strings and Organ, “Albinoni Adagio”; Archangelo Corelli – Concerto Grosso No. 8, “Christmas Concerto” Bob Cerulli – Christmas Sing-Along; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Symphony No 1, “Winter Dreams”.

It’s taking place at the Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located at 10501 SE Market Street, 97216. For more information, and, find a link to their live stream of the concert, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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