XX Century Chamber Music for Viola and Diverse Instruments

The Oregon Viola Society will sponsor a unique chamber music concert on Sunday, June 3, 2012, 7:00 p.m. at The Old Church at SW 11th and Clay, Portland. The concert will feature 20th century chamber music written for the viola and diverse instruments. Admission is free; donations will be accepted to help the Oregon Viola Society fund scholarships for young violists.

Twenty-six performers representing some of Portland’s finest professional musicians will be performing nine works. Among the compositions to be performed are Randall Thompson’s Suite for Oboe, Clarinet and Viola; a small work by Portland’s own Jacob Avshalomov entitled “Taking Leave of a Friend” scored for Mezzo Soprano, Flute, Viola and Piano; Seymour Barab’s “The Lovers” for Medium Voice, Clarinet, Viola, Cello and Piano; Vincent Persichetti’s Serenade for Trombone, Viola and Cello, and Luciano Berio’s “Naturale (Su melodie Siciliane)” scored for viola, marimba, gongs and tape showcasing Oregon Symphony’s principal violist, Joël Belgique, and Head of PSU’s percussion department, Dr. Joel Bluestone.

Performers include some of Portland’s most active freelance professional musicians and university music professors. Violist Dr. Miriam English Ward teaches viola and chamber music at Lewis and Clark College and the Rose City Music Academy, and Mr. Belgique and Dr. Bluestone teach their respective instruments at Portland State University. They will be joined by flautist Abby Mages and cellist Justin Kagan of the ensemble 45th Parallel; Shelley Mathewson, principal violist of the Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Portland Opera orchestras; Stephen Price, a long-time Oregon Symphony violist; Alicia Charlton, principal clarinetist with the Columbia Symphony; and Janet Coleman, one of the most sought-after collaborative pianists in the metropolitan area.

A wine and cheese reception follows the concert.

For more information about the concert, please contact
Sharon Eng, Concert Coordinator at 1seunltd@gmail.com

For more information about the Oregon Viola Society, please contact
Dorianne Reinhardt-Paul, Co-Chair, Oregon Viola Society at dorianne.reinhardtpaul@hotmail.com

Marylhurst Orchestra Concert, Loss.

From Dorianne Reinhardt-Paul:

I’m sad to report that on Thursday, Oregon violists lost another wonderful member of our community. Anna Rapp – violist, teacher, former principal violist and my former stand partner at Maryhurst – lost her battle with cancer on Thursday morning and passed away quietly in her sleep. She was 72, as I discovered much to my shock last year – you wouldn’t have known it from looking at her or talking to her, she was so full of life and energy. Anna just exuded joy. She was one of the most positive, glass-half-full people I have ever met. I don’t think I ever saw her have a bad day. She absolutely LOVED the viola, loved playing the viola, and was so happy for every opportunity she got to play. She was a real inspiration to me – every time I think of her, I am challenged to grab hold of my life and live it to the fullest. She will be deeply missed, and will be yet another person I think of each time I open my viola case.

The Marylhurst Orchestra has a concert tomorrow.

Report and Pics from last week’s Improv Class

We had an excellent time last week at the Portland Cello Project’s Demo and Class at Lewis & Clark College.

Sorry we had no real camera that night- here’s what an older semi-crummy cell phone will get you:





After treating the audience (73% of whom were also cellists) to a performance of several of his electronically enhanced pieces, Skip VonKuske moved on to explain how he approaches improvisatory playing. He finished by inviting all to the stage and led us in an impromptu reworking of a basic chord progression accompanied by some beats from his computer. Our groove inspired him to vamp on both Mission Impossible and Also Sprach Zarathustra- something for everyone in the mix.

If you missed the evening, you can find CDs from both Portland Cello Project and Skip VonKuske. They’re excellent local low-string talent!


Oh, you guys!

We have a really great thing coming up on Friday, October 17th at Lewis & Clark College.

We had planned on having the Unbande present a concert for us, but that has been put on hold. You can still check them out on CD Baby, though! Especially recommended is their sweet version of Brandenburg 6.

But we got something really great to take their place: PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT!

These guys have agreed to come play for us, and to give a workshop/demo on various cross-genre topics. They’ll bring some electronic gadgets and are down with a demo-heavy Q&A session. If you’ve ever had an interest in arranging works for your instrument, in playing pop, rock or jazz, in getting a group of your-favorite-instrument together to do something artistically worthwhile, in becoming the number one seller on Amazon classical… well, that last one they may not be able to pass along but we can all congratulate them anyway.

So, as always, bring your viola and your violist friends. In fact this time around, all instruments are welcome!

Check out PCP online and come back here for updates soon.

Portland Cello Project Myspace Page

Portland Cello Project Website

Sweet Music Deal

Hey there!

Just wanted to let you all know we have a composer in our midst. Peggy Swafford, longtime contributor to the Viola Society and to Oregon’s music scene in general, has hooked us up with a means of purchasing her works. If you were at our first play-in this year in Portland, you’ll remember these fun, diverse pieces.

Check our classifieds (the link is over there —> in the right side column) for more info.
Thanks to most excellent Peggy and just a reminder that you can post info to our classifieds for free by simply emailing Miriam.

New event announcements are coming soon!

Coming soon: Teacher Directory

If you would like to be listed on our Teacher Directory here, please email Miriam or leave a comment with the following information:

Ages/Levels/Specialties taught

General Location of Studio

Any bio or links you’d like to include

Your telephone number and email address

This listing service is free to current members of the Oregon Viola Society!