The Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association (CGOA) has chosen a new president and four new board of directors members for the 2020-21 season.

Under the artistic leadership of Mark Steighner, CGOA presents performances by six ensembles: Sinfonietta (community orchestra), Voci Choir, Jazz Collective (big band jazz), String Quartet (classical), Stages (musicals), and a Youth Choir.

“Each of these groups is composed of talented members who love performing for their audiences at various venues around town,” said a CGOA press release.

The new CGOA president is Hugh Amick, a retired high tech marketing executive who moved to Hood River more than 10 years ago.

He plays trombone in the Sinfonietta orchestra, the Jazz Collective and in CGOA musicals.

Amick is a long time board member and previously served as treasurer of the organization.

Said current president Ed Price, “These past few months have been difficult for CGOA, our performers, and our fans. Due to COVID-19, we had to cut short a very successful run of the musical ‘West Side Story,’ and then we had to cancel the entire rest of our season. But we quickly shifted our focus to online presentations, with great success.

"I’m sure Hugh, these new directors, the entire board, and Mark will do a wonderful job of phasing us back into live performances.”

Amick said, “I’m honored and excited to help lead CGOA through this coming year — and I’m especially happy to have the help of these four talented new board members.”

The new board members are:

Erica Roulier moved to Hood River five years ago. She has performed with the Sinfonietta for three years, playing viola. She has a PhD in molecular and cell biology and worked in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry as a clinical trials consultant.

Lori Russell joined the Voci Choir in 2015. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Russell and her husband, Bill Noonan, have lived in The Dalles for 27 years. She is a freelance writer/editor and a registered nurse.

Luke Firsching moved to Hood River in 2018 and is a test engineer with Collins Aerospace. He plays trumpet in the Sinfonietta and made his singing and acting debut last fall in the musical Murder Ballad.

Michele Firsching is a transplant from the Chicago area who first moved to the Gorge during the ice storms of 2017. She is a medical speech therapist with MCMC in Hood River and The Dalles. She has been a performer in multiple CGOA productions, co-host of the CGOA podcast and a founding member of the Gorge Acapella Lady Singers.

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