Last week, residents of Providence Brookside Manor in Hood River enjoyed a live, outdoor concert of some familiar melodies from Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association (CGOA). As two dozen residents and guests relaxed in the shade of their front entrance, CGOA’s Trombone Trio serenaded them for 45 minutes — from a COVID-safe distance — with familiar tunes and old standards from the past.

Tonya DeHart, activities coordinator at Brookside Manor, said, “The performance was so wonderful, everyone enjoyed it! Music brings out joy and also brings back memories. That’s especially nice in this time with so much sadness, when residents can’t see their families. When I told residents that musicians were coming, they were excited. I told them, ‘You’re a big deal — why else would they come?’”

The Trombone Trio is made up of Hugh Amick (also the CGOA president), Ed Price and Bob Smith, and the concert was organized by Erica Roulier, CGOA board member. This was the first in a series of informal public performances that lets CGOA performers offer some support and comfort to the Gorge community in these difficult days.

According to Amick, “It’s great for us to be able to play in public again, and how sweet it is that people can enjoy our music. One woman said to me afterwards, ‘It’s a real pleasure for us to come and hear you,’ but the pleasure was ours, too. Plus we really enjoyed the questions and answers with the audience.”

One of the most moving moments of the afternoon was at the end, said the trio, when DeHart led the audience in a “rainbow clap” — starting on one side of the body, clapping over the head, then clapping down the other side of the body — to thank them.

To submit ideas for other CGOA public performances, contact Roulier at roulier@yahoo.com. 

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