Symphony and choir join, to benefit Kiwanis charities

Find out why outer East Portland musicians – ranging from teenagers to those in their 90s – got together, for this first-time-ever musical event …

Kiwanians Carol and Jewell Bailey welcome guests to “An Evening of Music”, benefiting Kiwanis charities, at David Douglas High School.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With charitable giving on the decline, members of Peninsula Kiwanis in North Portland started of looking for new ways to raise money for the causes they support.

“A young man in our club, Harold Stoffer, a retired professor out of the University of Portland, came up with idea of a concert, and organized the event,” explained greeter Jewell Bailey, a Kiwanian for 47 years, at the April 5 program.

“Did I mention that Stoffer is 95 years old?” Bailey added. “He’s still playing clarinet in the East County Community Orchestra. It is his project, and we’re here to make it work.”

“The two charities receiving funds are the Dornbecher Children’s Cancer Program and the Kiwanis Camp for Disabled Children and Adults,” Carol Bailey told us, as we spoke in the lobby of the David Douglas High School Howard Horner Performing Arts Center.

Event organizer Harold Stoffer prepares to play his clarinet with the East County Community Orchestra, at the charity concert.

As the orchestra lined up for its entrance, we spoke with Harold Stauffer, and asked what inspired him to create this fundraising event. “A concert by the orchestra and the concert choir just seemed like the logical thing to do.”

Before the evening program began, video presentations illustrated the good being done for the community by the Dornbecher Children’s Cancer Program and the Kiwanis Camp for Disabled Children and Adults. Audience members were encouraged to generously contribute.

Jack Mahoney conducts the East County Community Orchestra.

Two concerts in one
During the first half of the program, presented by the East County Community Orchestra, the audience of about 300 people was first treated to a splendid rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. Moving on to the classics, Richard Wagner’s Suite from Tannhauser was next. Then, moving from the past to the distant future, the orchestra performed the Theme fromStar Trek Generations“.

The East County Community Orchestra plays tunes both old and new, composed both near and far.

An Irish Tune from County Derry and Shepherd’s Hey and Florentiner Grande Marche Italiana completed their warmly-received program.

After a brief intermission, the David Douglas High School Concert Choir took their turn on the stage.

The choral program began with Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal, under the baton of conductor Christopher D. Silva, accompanied by Marcia Thomas. They continued with If Music Be the Food of Love.

The David Douglas High School Concert Choir sounded as professional as they looked, as they sang in this benefit concert.

Next, they offered Veniki, a song that Silva told the audience is a Russian tongue-twister, the text of which is nearly meaningless: “Brooms, brooms, yes broom-sweepers, yes on the hearth laid about, you from the hearth were torn off …” The presentation was upbeat, rhythmical and fun.

A classical offering composed by Robert Schumann, Zigeunerleben, is a romantic tale of a Gypsy’s life told to music; it featured the quartet of Amanda Pred, Leigh Callahan, Keith Stokoe, and Corey Taylor-Cedarleaf. They ended their program with Ride On, King Jesus.

Christopher D. Silva conducts the choir through the tongue-twisting Russian song, Veniki.

At the conclusion of the event, Bailey said they’d raised about $1,000 from the concert. “Can you tell your readers about the 13th Annual Kiwanis Dornbecher Golf Tournament on July 17 at Gresham Golf Course? It’s a shotgun start at 10 am.”

Of course we can, Mr. Bailey! And, you can find out more, or register online for the golf outing, by visiting their website:

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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