Tag Archive for: Music

VANCOUVER, WA — Clark College will host the 56th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival with three full days of exhilarating big band jazz on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, January 25-27, 2018 in the Gaiser Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver WA 98663. Admission is $5 per day. Clark College students and children under 12 accompanied by an adult will be admitted free of charge.

Sixty middle and high school jazz ensembles from throughout Washington and Oregon are scheduled to perform in this year’s competition with trophies presented to the top three jazz ensembles for middle schools and A through AAAA division high schools. Individual outstanding musician awards will also be presented at the end of each division’s preliminary competitions. At the end of Saturday evening, the Dale Beacock Memorial Sweepstakes Award will be presented to one outstanding band selected from the entire festival.

Preliminary competitions for the 2018 festival will start on Thursday with middle schools from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with middle school finals starting at 5:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, competition will begin at 8:00 a.m. with the A and AA division jazz bands performing on Friday and AAA and AAAA jazz bands taking the stage on Saturday. Finals competitions will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings ending with the trophies presentation.
The Clark College Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Festival Director Richard Inouye, will perform at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, noon and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, and at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday. The 2017 Sweepstakes Band, Garfield High School Jazz Band (Seattle, WA), under the direction of Clarence Acox, will hold the spotlight on Saturday evening at 8:30 p.m.

For complete information about the Clark College Music Department concerts featuring the orchestra, band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/index.php

The History of the Clark College Jazz Festival

The heritage of the Clark College Jazz Festival dates back to 1962 when Hud­son’s Bay H.S. band director, Don Cammack, began organizing a one-day high school stage band invitational for schools from Clark and Skamania coun­ties. Organized by the Vancouver and Evergreen public schools, Fort Vancou­ver H.S. and Evergreen H.S took turns hosting the festival each year. Sponsors of the festival included Southwest Washington Music Association and Lower Columbia River Music Educators Association.

In the early years, the trophies were made by middle school band director, Jack Ager, creatively construct­ing musician figures from miscellaneous hardware and car parts! In 1970, Dale Beacock, then the band director at both Fort Vancouver H.S. and Clark Col­lege, held the invitational “Clark Stage Band Contest” for the first time at its current home, Clark College. This inaugural event hosted 17 high school jazz bands with preliminary competitions held in what was then known as the Gaiser Hall dining area, with finals in the gymnasium. Dale’s vision of a competitive jazz showcase for schools throughout Washington and greater Portland pro­moted the growth of the festival and in 1971 the festival grew to 32 bands held over two days on Friday and Saturday.

In 1976, the number of participating bands grew to 52, welcoming bands from Oregon and Idaho. In 1985, Chuck Ramsey took over the reigns as Festival Coordinator successfully organizing the festival for the next 22 years. Chuck’s achievements bringing consistency in the operations of the festival and increased student involvement set the ground­work for the educational enhancement, leadership, teamwork, and a sense of ownership the Clark student volunteers experience today. In 2008, Richard Inouye came onboard as Festival Director. His professional and educational experience has brought a new dynamic to the festival by encouraging a focus on jazz education and utilizing technology to promote community awareness, public support, and streamline festival operations.

In 2012, the Clark College Jazz Festival celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary. Highlights of this milestone included the Clark College Alumni Band directed by Chuck Ramsey which fea­tured Clark band alumni from three generations of Clark band directors. Dale Beacock and Chuck were also presented Legacy Sweepstakes Awards for their historic contributions to the festival.

Today, the Annual Clark College Jazz Fes­tival welcomes 60 middle and high school jazz ensembles, over 1,200 student jazz musicians to the campus, and over 3,000 people to the Vancouver com­munity throughout the three-day event. In 2013, the festival went international welcoming two bands from Tsawwassen, British Columbia!

About the Clark College Music Department

Clark College offers a two-year Associate in Music Degree (DTA/MRP) that includes music theory/ear training, instrumental and vocal performance training, and ensemble experience. Classes are designed to 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.

Photo by Andy Bao Clark College Independent

To start out with a somewhat-painful cliché – it is indeed that time of year again. The time where holiday fanatics mourn the conclusion of the beloved holiday season. The time where we ashamedly remember all the goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of January that were eventually abandoned. The time where we pull a 180 and write up a whole new list of resolutions for ourselves as we boldly claim, “this upcoming year will be different!”

This sentiment is not to make you feel guilty or discouraged. I myself am the queen of setting a new year goal that is – more often than not – somehow magically forgotten after a mere week or two. Upon reflecting on our tendencies to hold the new year to such a high standard, I am humored by our human nature. The concept of time and the calendar are manmade instruments that are used to organize and make sense of our lives. Why do so many of us make excuses and put off the changing of a habit until the beginning of the following year? Essentially, New Year’s Day is simply another day, another hour, another minute. Though, it is true that many of us get accustomed to our habits, stuck in our ways, and as time passes, more unlikely to change. If ringing in a new year can signify the beginning of a new chapter and new motivations, then that in itself is worth celebrating!

Check Out the Playlist on Spotify!

Beginning a new chapter of life in general is most often bittersweet, and this playlist aims to capture some of that. This might mean leaving a piece of yourself behind – a home, a job, a relationship (The Kinks’ “So Long,” Ryan Adam’s “Outbound Train,” Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On”). This might simultaneously be the opening of a new door that brings new adventures, new people to meet, and a strong, wanderlust-fueled desire to dive deep into the unknown – even when you are not sure where it may lead you (Mac Demarco’s “The Stars Keep on Calling My Name,” The B-52s’ “Roam”).

There are songs of reinvention and longing on a personal level, particularly Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris” – a track that mirrors my heart’s wildest desires to a T.

“I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one’s future to decide…”
The playlist is closed by two power ballads, the first being pop sensation Lorde’s hit single “Green Light” from her sophomore album, Melodrama. Released this year to high critical acclaim, the twenty-one-year-old New Zealander described “Green Light” as a post-heartbreak rebuilding anthem.

“But I hear sounds in my mind
Brand new sounds in my mind
But honey I’ll be seein’ you, ever, I go
But honey I’ll be seein’ you down every road
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it…”
The last tune is my personal favorite Bruce Springsteen song – “Thunder Road.” The opening track on his 1975 album Born to Run, the lyrics are fueled by the desire to find a sense of meaning and purpose by stepping outside a life one has always known.

“Hey, what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well, the night’s busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven’s waiting on down the tracks
Oh oh, come take my hand
We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land…”

In his VH1 Storytellers interview in 2005, Springsteen himself described the music as sounding like “an invitation. Something is opening up to you…a sense of a larger life, greater experience…a sense of personal exploration, your possibilities…the idea that it is all lying somewhere inside of you…just on the edge of town.”

“There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines rolling on
But when you get to the porch, they’re gone on the wind
So Mary, climb in
It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win.”

There is no time like the present, and there is no time to waste. Make the most of this new year – go create! Go pursue! Go explore! Go live!

WASHOUGAL, WA — Dayley Dance Academy Northwest is hosting a fun holiday event this Saturday, December 16th with the presentation of “Before We Turn to Stone,” which is an original dance performance based upon Walt Disney’s Heros and Villains.  The show is a perfect outing for the entire family! The academy will present three show times at the Washougal High School Auditorium — at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm. Tickets are $12.

You may also delight your little princess before the show by joining Dayley Dance Academy for a Princess Tea.  The Tea is from 9:30-10:30 am (also on Saturday) and the cost of the tea includes a ticket and VIP seating to the 11 o’clock show of “Before We Turn to Stone.” Your little princess will love meeting her favorite princess, autographs, eating dainty treats, and watching performances by our princesses.  Tickets are $45 for an adult and child ticket and additional children tickets are $20.

Later that evening, Dayley will host an Auction (live and silent) and Raffle. You may join the group before the auction for dinner ($3) starting at 4:30.  There are some wonderful items up for auction — as well as a raffle. All proceeds will go towards the DDANW Non-Profit mission for developing young artists in our community and providing performance opportunities. Auction and dinner will end promptly at 6:30 pm so our guests can enjoy the 7 pm show.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.DDANW.org or by calling 360-210-5981

Portland, OR — They only perform a few times a year, but two local Clark County-based volunteer Portland Choir and Orchestra members say they’re grateful to be part of such a prestigious organization.

The group recently performed an eloquent Christmas Concert at the Newmark Theater, in downtown Portland, which helped usher in the holiday season.

Curtis Bedont, a Camas resident, and Marc Davis, a Washougal resident, both have respective orthodontic and chiropractic practices in Clark County. Both shared their thoughts with us about singing for the Portland Choir and Orchestra.

“This is my third year singing with the Portland Choir and Orchestra,” said Bedont. “The PCO is a combination of professional and amateur musicians and I am definitely on the amateur side. Before I started singing with them I would have never imagined that I would be part of such an amazing organization. Every concert I am blown away by the professionalism of the leadership of the choir who organize everything together into a Class Act performance. This Christmas concert was no exception. With the combination of our choir and orchestra as well at guests Edmund Stone and the Bells of the Cascade, this year’s performance was so fun to be a part of, and everyone that I spoke to that attended loved it! The mission or tag line of the Portland Choir and Orchestra is ‘Inspiring the Northwest’. This is achieved by providing quality musical performances at an affordable ticket price. We have choir practice Thursday evenings and I look forward each week to going because it is so fun and inspiring to sing with this group.”

Inside the Newmark Theater.

“I sang with the choir for a year and a half and then my schedule was just too busy so I took a year off,” said Davis.  “I missed that inspiration that singing in a top notch Choir brings. Needless to say, I rejoined the Portland Choir and Orchestra this past season. The practices each Thursday are a highlight of my week. They are like therapy to me — with the beautiful harmonies and the music we sing. Our Christmas Concert this past Saturday achieved its goal of getting my family and many others into the Christmas Spirit. Loved it. Dr. David Thomas is an amazing, accomplished Artistic Director and leads us each week. Dr. Ed Higgins masterfully directs the Orchestra. The Bells of the Cascades is led by young 23 year-old prodigy Matthew Compton. We in the choir loved having him direct one of our songs.”

Image Gallery

Photos by Jon Pugmire.

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To learn more, visit www.musicinportland.org

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 www.musicinportland.org

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 http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/music-concerts.

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. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/missing-ufo-singer-songwriter/.

NPR Staff. “Jim Sullivan’s Mysterious Masterpiece: ‘U.F.O.’” NPR. 9 Dec. 2010. Web. Accessed 21 August 2017. http://www.npr.org/2010/12/09/131936448/jim-sullivan-s-mysterious-masterpiece-u-f-o.

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 www.clark.edu



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, http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/music-concerts/