by: COURTESY PHOTO: BETH DRENNEN - Members of the Hillsboro Community Youth Choir sang their hearts out at their December concert, and plan to do so again this Saturday.History and music will collide this Saturday.

The Hillsboro Community Youth Choir presents their spring concert, “Down by the Riverside,” which will use music to highlight America’s history.

The concert will feature songs about slavery and freedom, songs from the Civil War, and post-war legacy choral works as well as poetry and readings as a tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington.

The show is designed to send audience members home in reflection of U.S. history and aspirations of peace.

Founded in 2003, the nonprofit Hillsboro Community Youth Choir’s mission is to promote excellence in choral music and enrich the “lives of youth by instilling a life-long love of music through performance and education,” with four choirs for children in kindergarten through 12th-grade.

Artistic Director Cindy Uecker has more than 30 years of choral education and conducting experience, including at Liberty High School and for the Oregon Chorale. Emily Helligso is the director of the younger kids’ prelude choir.

Part one of the program focuses on the eve of the Civil War, featuring camp meeting songs, folk songs, and Steven Foster works, including “As I Went Down in the River to Pray,” “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Jim Along Josie,” “Shoo Fly,” “The Bullfrog,” “Home Sweet Home” and “Polly Wolly Doodle.”

Part two features more songs of slavery and freedom, such as “Deep River,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and “Get on Board.”

War songs will comprise part three, with classics such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier,” “Waitin’ for the Dawn of Peace,” “Tenting on the Old Campground,” “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “Dixie” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”

Part four will finish the evening with songs centered on legacy. Gwyneth Walker’s “A Just and Lasting Peace” and “Down By the Riverside” will conclude the show.

Next week, HCYC will hold auditions for fall programs. They will also host their first camp this summer at the Walters Cultural Arts Center through Hillsboro Parks & Recreation.

Event is May 18 at 4 p.m. Hillsboro High School auditorium, 3285 S.E. Rood Bridge Road. Tickets online or at the door. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to sign up for camps or auditions, visit or call 503-441-1357.

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