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CGOA Our American Home- The Gorge Sinfonietta

The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association Presents

OUR AMERICAN HOME

The Gorge Sinfonietta

Friday, June 14  7 PM. Sunday, June 16 2 PM

Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center

Saturday, June 15 7 PM  The Dalles Civic Auditorium Ballroom

After a season that included music from England and Italy, the Gorge Sinfonietta returns to the United States for “Our American Home.” The concerts include some of the most beloved and iconic symphonic music from the golden age of American music.

From the 1920s through the 1950s, composers such as George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber created the “American sound” in classical music. Melodic, bursting with emotion and energy, the music was as wide open as a prairie and as urban as New York City. Unlike some of the more avant garde music of the time, the American sound was easy to understand and direct in its expression.

Probably the most famous piece on the program is George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for piano and orchestra. One of the most recognizable, iconic American compositions of all time, Rhapsody in Blue is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2024. It brings together the sound of symphonic music with the infectious syncopated rhythms of jazz. The Sinfonietta will be joined for Rhapsody in Blue by pianist/composer Mitchell Jett Spencer. Spencer thrilled audiences last season with his standing room-only performance of the Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto.

Of course, American music continues to change and develop. Audiences will get to participate in that evolution firsthand, as the Sinfonietta presents the world premiere of Spirit of the Wind and Water, by Portland area composer Nicole Buetti. In addition to being a composer, Buetti is a virtuoso bassoonist and plays with the Sinfonietta. Spirit of the Wind and Water was inspired by watching kite boarders on the Columbia. It’s fast, exciting and evocative.

Our American Home includes several other, very recognizable compositions, including Aaron Copland’s noble Fanfare for the Common Man and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, a heartbreaking piece most famously featured in the film, Platoon. Rounding out the concert is another Copland composition, the Suite from The Tender Land. In addition to being an orchestral showpiece, the suite recalls other Copland compositions such as Appalachian Spring.

Our American Home performances are on Friday, June 14 at 7 PM and Sunday, June 16 at 2 PM at the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center in Odell. A very special added performance will be on Saturday, June 15 in The Dalles Civic Auditorium Ballroom at 7 PM. Ticket information is at gorgeorchestra.org.

The concerts are part of a season that has included performances by the Jazz Collective Big Band, Sinfonietta, Stages Musical Theatre and the Voci Choir. The concerts are supported in part by this season’s headline sponsor, Columbia Gorge Toyota and Honda.

Columbia Gorge Toyota and Honda in The Dalles will be the location of CGOA’s final concert of the season, featuring the Jazz Collective Big Band on Sunday, June 23 at 7 PM. The concert will be free, and it’s a great way to start summer.

The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and presenting musical performances of the highest quality in the Columbia River Gorge region. With a commitment to artistic excellence and education, the Association brings the joy of music to audiences of all ages.

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