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Quintet assists high school symphonic band class

Musicians participate in Oregon Symphony community outreach
by: NoleneTriska, Oregon Symphony bassist Jason Schooler plays with the Estacada High School symphonic band class in March as part of the Community Music Partnership.

Before its concert on Friday, March 16, the Oregon Symphony string quintet, as part of the symphony's Community Music Partnership, sat in on Estacada High School band director Steve Christensen's symphonic band class rehearsal, helping them practice Holsinger's 'Kaylen Dreaming.'

'Everybody's got to be in one mind and connect as it goes around,' advised Jason Schooler, the bassist, waving his hand in a circle.

'Adjust to the fastest beat,' agreed cellist Ken Finch. He snapped his fingers in rhythm to illustrate a point. 'Putting the mechanical thing-the tempo-with the music thing-the tension-will open up a whole new world.'

The students tackled the piece again. 'Did you play differently?' Finch asked them.

They nodded, looking uncertain.

'Well, that worked!' he said enthusiastically.

Violist Viorel Bejenaru explained to a visiting parent that their process was one of illustrating underlying theories. He used the analogy, 'Not to teach them to ride a bike, but to understand how to ride.'

Christensen praised the sound of the strings with his band. 'It's so nice to hear the bass,' he said, 'and how smooth the cello is on the sax parts!'

Just before the bell rang the end of the period, violinist Julie Coleman urged the students to practice.

'Remember,' she said, smiling, 'no one says [later in life] 'I regret I played an instrument.''

Help transport the piano

Arts Commission Chair Gloria Polzin is asking the community to help transport the piano needed for May's Oregon Symphony full-orchestra concert.

The orchestra will perform at the Estacada High School gymnasium on May 12. Music lovers may choose to attend either the dress rehearsal at 9:30 a.m. or the evening concert at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale in mid-April at several Estacada businesses.

According to Polzin, Maurice Unis of Classic Pianos has generously agreed to loan a baby grand piano if the community can arrange to pay for transportation to the high school. Bob and Carla Austin have offered to donate half the cost, and Polzin is hoping the community will match their generosity. 'If everyone can give a little, that would be fabulous.' she said.

To donate, or for more information, call her at 503-630-5688.