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Gresham man to play music at confab

Bill Jordens, 86, has been playing mandolin since since the Great Depression and is still going strong.

The Gresham resident — who taught science at Sandy High from 1968-88 — will play with the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra when it hosts the Classical Mandolin Society of America’s 27th annual convention at the Red Lion on the River Hotel, 909 N. Hayden Island Drive, Portland, from Tuesday through Sunday, Oct. 28 to Nov. 2.

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., who moved to Oregon in 1954, Jordens was 10 when he began strumming the mandolin, inspired by his father, grandfather and great-uncle, who all played the stringed instrument.

“It just seemed the thing to do at that time because everyone else was doing it in my family,” he says.

The convention will include workshops as well as performances by acclaimed virtuosi. The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra’s 30 members, including Jordens on mandocello, will perform Samuel Barber’s “Adagio For Strings” and Franz Schubert’s “Unfinished Symphony in B-Minor,” as well as other pieces.

The outfit will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 31. The concert is free. Visit classicalmandolinsociety.org.

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