The Portland Choir and Orchestra will be ringing in the Christmas season this Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday, November 25 at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Newmark Theater in Downtown Portland. This year’s event features special guests Edmund Stone of All Classical Portland Radio, and Bells of the Cascades.

Tickets may be purchased directly from the Newmark Theater by phone (503-274-6551), ONLINE, at the box office, or from choir members. Newmark fees may be lower at the box office, and specific seat choices can only be secured directly from Newark.

Newmark Theater address:

1111 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

“The choir currently has 100 members, and the orchestra has 45,” said choir member, Curtis Bedont. “We have two to three concerts a year. One is the Christmas concert, and then we have one in the late spring. This season we will have three concerts — in November, March, and June. There are many members that have been singing with them since its inception. Others come and go as their schedules and life circumstances permit. We are always recruiting new singers! We would actually like to be a little bigger, at 110-120 choir members.”

The Portland Choir & Orchestra has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City in February to perform Durufle’s Requiem, and they are also preparing for that event.


Portland Choir and Orchestra.

About Portland Choir & Orchestra

Since its founding concert in 2005, the organization has been delighting audiences with excellent, inspiring choral and orchestral music.  Each year, thousands of Oregon and Washington residents turn out to hear PCO’s wide variety of concert programs including the annual Celebration of Christmas, master works for choir and orchestra based on sacred texts, and patriotic and pops-style concerts that celebrate humankind’s rich heritage of Faith, Music, Family and Liberty.

Portland Choir & Orchestra has performed the Star Spangled Banner at multiple Portland Trail Blazers’ Games and has also performed with the Newport Symphony Orchestra, the Willamette Falls Symphony, and with national stars like Grammy-nominated and acclaimed concert violinist Jenny Oaks Baker,  renowned Mormon Tabernacle Organist Clay Christiansen and Broadway actor and recording artist Dallyn Vail Bayles.  Local celebrities such as Bill Schonely and Ray Summers have also collaborated to provide inspiring collaborations of music and narration like Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait.

To learn more, visit

VANCOUVER, WA.  The Clark College Jazz Ensemble performs their Fall Concert on Friday, November 17, with special guests, the Prairie High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Ryan Messing.  The concert begins 7:00 p.m., in the Gaiser Student Center on the Clark College Campus, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.  The concert is free to the public.

“Last year the Prairie Jazz Band received numerous outstanding musician and soloist awards throughout the area jazz festivals, most notably winning the AAA division at the prestigious Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival ,” says Richard Inouye, Clark’s Director of Bands. “We are extremely excited to have them as our guests this year, so we hope folks can come and listen to the swingin’ big band jazz our local students are creating!”

For complete information about all the Clark College Music Department concerts including the orchestra, concert band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see

About the Clark College Music Department

Clark College offers an Associate in Music DTA/MRP degree with courses in music theory/ear training, instrumental and vocal performance training, and ensemble experience. Classes prepare the music major for advanced studies at a four-year institution while providing the non-major with the skills and background to fully enjoy music as a cultural pursuit. Ensembles on campus include three choral groups, orchestra, concert band, and jazz ensemble. Three tenured and several adjunct faculty, provide professional instruction to the 500+ students that pass through Beacock Music Hall each year.

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Regardless of what season you claim your favorite to be, it is hard to deny the special kind of wonderland that the Pacific Northwest becomes once autumn kicks itself into gear. I may personally be biased because October is my favorite month – but to me, there are few things lovelier than driving the backroads on a chilly autumn day, encapsulated by trees that have clapped their hands and littered the ground with gold and maroon leaves. I’m a sucker for a sunny pumpkin patch outing, a warm cup of apple cider, divine-smelling candles, and every other fall cliché there is out there. I also find autumn to be a time where the right kind of music can be so poignant and fit a mood like your favorite chilly-weather sweater. This song list includes tunes that are prone to fit any weather that this glorious season throws at us, and the moods that shift along with it. So, grab your pumpkin spice-flavored drink and enjoy this autumn playlist!

“Oh the bitter winds are coming in
And I’m already missing the summer
Stockholm’s cold but I’ve been told
I was born to endure this kind of weather…”

The opening lyrics to “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit go. A band of two sisters from Stockholm, Sweden, I believe First Aid Kit are one of the greatest folk groups of our modern day. One of the first concerts I ever attended was a show of theirs on their Lion’s Roar tour, and it remains one of the most beautiful shows I’ve ever seen.

“…But when the leaves fell on the ground
And bully winds came around pushed them face down in the snow
He got the urge for going and I had to let him go
He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown

And summertime was falling down and winter was closing in…”


Joni Mitchells sings in “Urge For Going.” Definitely a more melancholy song for when autumn starts drawing to a close and the weather grows colder – especially for the people who annually dread to see the warm weather disappear for a while. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful tune and one of my favorites of Joni’s.

Included also are a couple of live acoustic versions of songs – “New Test Leper” by R.E.M., and “Kooks” by David Bowie – a song featured on Hunky Dory that Bowie had written for his newborn son, Zowie (which famous English disc jockey, John Peel, discusses briefly at the end of the 1971 recording).

Finally, this playlist also features upbeat tunes that are perfect for those beloved sunny autumn day drives – including “Oh, Mojave” by The Ruby Suns, a dreamy cover of John Lennon’s “#9 Dream” by José González (featured on the soundtrack for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – one of the better movies I’ve seen in the past few years), and “Team Zissou” by Brazilian musician Seu Jorge from The Life Aquatic soundtrack – another fantastic film.

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past month or two, you’re probably aware of all the recent excitement regarding the rare and brilliant celestial event where the moon eclipsed the sun.

“Have you bought your pair of ISO 2312-2 eclipse-viewing glasses, yet?” was a common conversation topic – especially up here in the northwest – during the weeks leading up to the big day. I spent this long-awaited moment up at Washington State University Vancouver, standing amidst a sea of people in the campus courtyard, all staring up at the sky and sporting our delightfully-ridiculous specks. While doing so, I couldn’t help but think about how we should be doing this kind of thing more often – gathering together and taking a moment to celebrate vast astronomical wonders. Even something as simple as stargazing in a field or on your roof with some close friends or a loved one on a warm summer night can be so relaxing and memorable. So… grab a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, and a good friend, and press play on this stargazing-themed playlist. We all know that we won’t have these quality, cloudless and rainless skies for too much longer!

Stargazing Playlist

This playlist includes – but is certainly not limited to – two David Bowie tunes (he is the original starman after all. How could I settle for just one?), and a groovy extraterrestrial ballad by a singer-songwriter named Jim Sullivan. Six years after releasing his debut album U.F.O. in 1969, the struggling musician decided to venture from Los Angeles to Nashville (NPR staff, para. 1). However, Sullivan’s deserted Volkswagen Bug – containing his guitar, wallet, and a box of his unsold records (Mastropolo, para. 14) – were later discovered in the middle of the New Mexico desert and he was never to be found (NPR staff, para. 1). Ironically, his vanishing reflects the mysteriousness reflected in “U.F.O.” itself – some even theorizing that Sullivan himself was abducted by aliens (NPR staff, para. 10).



Songs for Stargazing.

Works Cited

Mastropolo, Frank. “Rock’s Unsolved UFO Mystery: The Night Jim Sullivan Vanished Into Thin Air.” UltimateClassicRock. 2 July 2014. Web. Accessed 22 August 2017.

NPR Staff. “Jim Sullivan’s Mysterious Masterpiece: ‘U.F.O.’” NPR. 9 Dec. 2010. Web. Accessed 21 August 2017.

by Veronica Whitney

For the third time, the Clark College Jazz Ensemble demonstrated the excellence for which Clark is known as they distinguished themselves among the other colleges and universities representing seven states, at the 2016 University of Northern Colorado/Greeley Jazz Festival held April 21 through 23, 2016.  This year, eight Clark College Jazz Ensemble students received Special Citation for Outstanding Musicianship awards, recognized from the 8000 festival participants.  The Clark students who received awards were:

  • Mattias Tyni – trumpet
  • Keith Cheek – tenor saxophone
  • Anna James – tenor saxophone
  • James Powers – trombone
  • Jenny Baird – trombone
  • Hayden Lilak – bass
  • Josh Gonzales – drums
  • Sam Niborg – drums

In addition to performing for adjudication and clinic from internationally recognized jazz educators, Clark students also had the opportunity to listen to performances, workshops, and panel discussions presented by luminaries in the field of jazz including the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Houston Person, Joey DeFrancesco, and legendary jazz royalty, Ellis Marsalis.

James Powers, seen below with bassist and leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, John Clayton, and Clark student Keith Cheek, reflects on how this experience enhanced his education at Clark.  “The experience of visiting the Greeley Jazz Festival this year was exhilarating. It has been said that it can be disappointing to meet one’s heroes, but I can say that that is not always the case. When speaking with some of the learned men of music, I was greeted with humility and kindness. Just as important as the uplifting musical performances, was the realization that these performers were all just regular people who have just practiced more than I have. Overall I would say that as a result of attending the festivities, I have come to several inspiring and informative conclusions about the nature of my craft, and I believe the same can said for my fellow band members.”

College Jazz

Members of the Clark Jazz Ensemble saxophone section get a picture with iconic saxophonist, Houston Person.


College Jazz


Jazz Ensemble Director, Rich Inouye, could not have been more proud of the band’s performance at the festival.  “Many times you work so hard for something like this and when you perform, little mistakes pop up here and there, but this year’s performance at the festival was pure perfection and I hope the Clark College community recognizes the work our band students put in to help Clark achieve this distinction.  People in the audience shared with me how surprised they were when they found out we were a two-year college!  It’s good that the Music Department can represent Clark academic distinction at the national level along with programs such as STEM, Speech and Debate, and Journalism.”

To learn more, visit



The Clark College Orchestra performs De Falla’s Three Cornered Hat and Chabrier’s Espana, directed by Don Appert, this Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30 pm. Guest violist Brett Deubner solos in Don Appert’s Fantasy for Viola and String Orchestra, as well as Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher for Viola and Chamber Orchestra.

Location: Durst Theatre, at the Vancouver School of Arts & Academics.

Admission is FREE.

There are several other musical performances happening this week, as well.

Women’s Choral Ensemble & Chorale Concert

The Clark College Women’s Choral Ensemble & Chorale perform on Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 pm. Directed by April B. Duvic. Special guests, Seton Catholic Prep Concert Choir directed by Janet Reiter, opens the program. The Clark College Women’s Ensemble continues with several riveting selections about love, hope, heaven, and revelation. The men of Seton Catholic and the Clark College Chorale combine for the concert’s inspiration, Grieg’s “Brothers, Sing On” before the Chorale shares its varied program of choral classics. The concert concludes with Chorale and Seton Catholic bringing down the house with a choral arrangement of Mozart’s famous Rondo alla Turca.

Location: Gaiser Center, Clark College

Admission is FREE.


Concert Band & Concert Choir

This performance will feature the Concert Choir (April B. Duvic, Director) on the concert title, Musicks Empire, a song about the origin of music and Jubal who “tamed” the music of nature and created man-made music. The event will be held on Sunday, March 13 at 3 pm. Other eclectic highlights from the choir include Magnificent Horses based off the Mongolian folk tune; a French song, Dirait-on, and A Boy and a Girl, based off the English translation of a poem by Octavio Paz. The Clark College Concert Band (Richard Inouye, Director) will feature well know pieces inspired by the tradition of the American wind band. Highlights include Frank Ticheli’s Blue Shades, and Spoon River by Percy Grainger.

Location: O’Connell Sports Center

Admission is FREE.

This season was made possible with the generous support of the ASCC, Clark College Foundation, Mark Moreland Violin Shop, Beacock Music Center, the David Kerr Violin Shop, Music World, Dr. Peter Phillips Chiropractic & Wellness Clinic, Gillespie Dentistry, the Blind Onion, and the Heathman Lodge.

For more information,

Camas — Four Liberty Middle School bands showcased their developing musical talents Thursday night at the school’s gymnasium in a program led by the school’s band director, Greg Henion.

The 6th, 7th, 8th and Jazz Bands all played various songs throughout the 90-minute program, showing family and friends the skills they’ve been learning since the last concert.

The 6th grade band played four songs, all written by Bruce Pearson and Ryan Nowland, including “March Across the Seas,” and “The Good Life.”

Seventh grade played “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky, arranged by Andrew Balent, and “Plaza de Toros” by Mark Williams.

The 8th grade band features “Blue Ridge Ocerture” by Frank Erickson, “Newfoundland Folk Song” by by Jim Duff, and “Normandy Beach March” by John Edmondson.

Jazz Band

Eighth grade student, Kenny Wright, plays the electric guitar for the school’s jazz band.

Henion took time between each performance to update the audience on the band’s progress, and thanked the voters for the recently-passed levy, which will help the school’s musical program.

The Jazz Band assembled to play a fun performance of “The Pink Panther” by Henry Mancini. Their next number was “Gospel” by Carl Strommen. “Gospel” was followed by “It Had to Be You” by Gus Kahn and Isham Jones. Their final was “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles. The audience loved it!

Henion reminded the audience of upcoming Hazel Dell Parade, on May 21, which is for the 7th and 8th grade bands. And, the final Liberty concert of this school year will be held at the Camas High School Theater on June 7, at 7 pm.

To learn more about the music program, visit


Students play the French horns at a recent Liberty Middle School band concert.



Liberty Middle School Band Director, Greg Henion, speaks to the audience prior to a performance.