Teen violinist’s concert benefits Community Music Center

See why this young lady gave a special virtuoso performance at SE Portland music education center; and how you see if old instruments are valuable  …

On her way to play a benefit recital, Violin virtuoso Becky Anderson pauses for a moment with the Community Music Center’s director Gregory Dubay.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Located in a historic firehouse, nestled in inner SE Portland, is a unique performing arts educational facility called the Community Music Center.

“We’re a Portland Parks & Recreation resource,” explained their director, Gregory Dubay. “We work in partnership with nonprofit organizations to ensure that no student will be turned away for lack of ability to pay for music lessons.”

The reason we visited the Community Music Center on January 21 was to meet a young violinist named Becky Anderson.

17-year-old violinist Becky Anderson plays confidently for good reason: she has already won numerous competitions and has performed internationally.

Alumnae gives benefit recital
As we walked up the winding stairs to meet her as she warmed up while waiting in a practice room, Dubay told us, “Becky is doing this benefit recital for us. She’s one of our distinguished alumnae; she’s studied music with us for many years.”

Anderson looked poised when she greeted us. With an air of confidence, the charming 17-year-old said, “The Music Center was very instrumental in starting me in music. I started when I was three years old, taking music lessons here. I began private violin lessons here when I was five years old. I probably wouldn’t be playing this concert if it weren’t for Community Music Center.”

The music center is an important asset to the community, Anderson stated, because “Now, there is a lack of music education in many of our public schools right now. The center helps many young people gain a valuable musical education they couldn’t otherwise afford.”

Although Anderson is an accomplished musician, she says she may choose neuroscience and biochemistry as a career.

May choose science over music
Anderson said she’s been applying to colleges and music conservatories. “I’ve had some interest from conservatories back east. But, I’m also interested in neuroscience and biochemistry; I’m hoping to continue studies in that, as well as music.”

Before her recital started, we learned from Dubay that Anderson is a senior and National Honor Society student at Lincoln High School. She’s won numerous awards, and has performed internationally. “She’ll be performing on the national radio show ‘From the Top’ in May,” he added.

In performance, Anderson confidently and artistically played a program that included works by Bach, Mozart, Paganini, and Prokovief, with verve.

The event raised $800 for the Community Music Center, Dubay reported.

An “Instrument Roadshow” event at CMC on March 9 helps support the musical program that allows young musicians, such as Becky Anderson, to excel.

Instrument appraisal “roadshow” on March 9
Find out if your old violin in the closet, trumpet in the attic, or guitar in the garage is a clunker or a keeper.

On Sunday, March 9, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Community Music Center, you can bring violins, violas, cellos, woodwinds, brass and guitars to this “Antiques Roadshow” style event to obtain a verbal appraisal of market value and suggestions of needed repairs from some of Portland’s top instrument experts.

There will be food and live music by special guest performers including Tom Grant, the Portland Cello Project, the Oregon Renaissance Band, Klezmer and Duo Hora Tziganye.

Admission is $5 for an entry fee and $25 for each verbal appraisal. Tickets are on sale at Brown Paper Tickets (BrownPaperTickets.com or 1.800.838.3006). There is no extra ticket charge by ordering online or over the phone. Appraisal times are non-reserved. For written appraisals participants may make further contact with the professionals directly.

Music Center Auditorium is located at 3350 SE Francis Street. For more information, call them at (503) 823-3177, or visit their web site at www.communitymusiccenter.org.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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