Community music ensembles seek new members for upcoming season

Mark Steighner, conductor and music director for the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, says that the many CGOA ensembles are seeking new members for an exciting fall season.

CGOA ensembles include the Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Voci Choir, the Gorge Jazz Collective Big Band, and the Columbia Gorge Youth Choir. All of these ensembles will begin rehearsals soon, and new members are welcome.

The Sinfonietta is a community orchestra made up of both amateurs and paid professional musicians. This coming season includes a performance of the Beethoven 9th symphony, a program of American Music, and a concert with singer Storm Large. In particular, string players are needed. The Sinfonietta rehearses Tuesday nights in the Hood River Valley High band room from 7-9 p.m. This year’s rehearsals begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The Voci choir is a mixed voice ensemble that presents three concert series a year. This year, Voci is joining with the orchestra to present the Beethoven 9th symphony, and will be part of the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” in December. Voci is made up of a wide range of singers, some with a great deal of choral experience, and many new to singing. Voci rehearsals will officially begin on Monday, Aug.31. Voci rehearses from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the HRVHS choir room. In particular, Voci is looking for tenors and basses, and a full-time accompanist.

The Gorge Jazz Collective Big Band is a new ensemble that will explore and perform exciting music from many jazz genres. The band is seeking trumpets and saxes, and meets on Sunday evenings from 6-8 pm at Hood River Valley High. First rehearsal is Sunday, Aug. 30.

Beginning and intermediate string players of all ages will have an opportunity to develop their skills in two new ensembles, directed by Sinfonietta Assistant Concertmaster Chari Bickford. Watch the Hood River Community Education bulletin for more information.

The Gorge Youth Choir is a vocal ensemble for singers 11-14 years old and meets weekly to rehearse music in many styles. The choir is open by audition and the first meeting will be Monday, Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m.

For membership information, contact Mark Steighner at or visit

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