Sinfonietta, Stephen Seifert, pay tribute to America in music Feb. 26 and 28

Whether it’s through jazz, blues, spirituals, bluegrass, or folk songs, American music has told the story of its people in song, and on Feb. 26 and 28, the Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta, Hood River String Quartet, and special guest artist Stephen Seifert will gives audiences a sampling of great music from — or inspired by — America.

On the program is Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait,” written for narrator and orchestra, and featuring excerpts from some of Lincoln’s most inspired speeches and writings. Special guest narrators include Hood River Mayor Paul Blackburn (Friday night) and Representative Greg Walden (Sunday afternoon).

The Hood River String Quartet will play excerpts from bluessgrass violin virtuoso Mark O’Connor’s “String Quartet” and the Sinfonietta will perform Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9 -New World.” The “New World” Symphony is one of the most popular and beloved pieces of music ever written and was written by Dvorak after he visited America in the 1890s.

Coming to perform with the orchestra from Nashville, mountain dulcimer player Stephen Seifert is one of America’s most noted dulcimer players. Seifert will be giving the world premiere of the “Concerto for Dulcimer and Orchestra” — the first piece ever composed for full orchestra and mountain dulcimer -- by Sinfonietta music director Mark Steighner. Orchestra member and Hood River Middle School music director Rebecca Nederhiser will be conducting the premiere.

The performances will be at the Wy’east Middle School performing arts center on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. There is a $10 suggested donation. More information is available at

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