Beethoven’s 9th makes Gorge debut with CGOA

According to director Mark Steighner, this weekend’s CGOA performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony will involve the largest number of professional adjunct musicians the Sinfonietta has ever employed.

The performance on Oct. 23 will be the first performance in the Gorge, at least within the past 50 years, and probably the first time ever.

“The 9th symphony has inspired world leaders, marked important historical events, and the ‘Ode to Joy’ is essentially the European national anthem,” Steighner said.

Soloists from Pacific University combine forces for two concerts. The four vocal soloists from Pacific University are making a return appearance after last year’s performance of the Mozart Requiem.

Also on the program is the world premiere of “Shropshire Psalms” by English composer Jessica Curry. “Psalms” is a suite for choir and orchestra assembled from Curry’s score to “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.”

Beethoven’s 9th and final completed symphony premiered in 1824. It is the first symphony to use a choir and vocal soloists, setting a precedent for several later composers. At 75 minutes (give or take) it was also the longest and most technically demanding symphony to date.

Tickets are $20 adults, and $10 for children and students. Last year’s performance of Mozart’s “Requiem” was a sold-out, standing room only event, so this year the CGOA is offering advance sale tickets at

Tickets will also be available at the door. The performances are at Wy’east Middle School’s Performing Arts Center.

CGOA is a non-profit that supports an ever-growing variety of ensembles, including the Sinfonietta orchestra, Voci choir, Jazz Collective Big Band, Youth Chorus, Hood River String Quartet, and educational string ensembles. CGOA has a brand new website,, with information about the ensembles, upcoming concerts, and much more.

CGOA is also now part of the Amazon Smile program. By going through the Amazon Smile portal, and selecting CGOA as their charity of choice, Amazon will donate a small percentage of sales to the organization. More information is available on the CGOA website.

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