Community Symphonic Band holds Winter Concert

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LA GRANDE — The Community Symphonic Band, one of the community ensemble programs overseen by Art Center East, is currently preparing for its Winter Concert.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 3.14.33 PMThe performance will showcase the Community Symphonic Band’s talents under the direction of Chris Leavitt.

Leavitt, a La Grande native, currently directs the bands of the La Grande School District. There, “he guides all aspects of the band program,” according to the press release sent by Art Center East.

Leavitt conducts the beginning, intermediate and advanced bands at La Grande Middle School, and the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band and Pep-Band at La Grande High School.

The Eastern Oregon University alumnus, who received a bachelor’s of music degree in percussion performance and a master’s degree in arts and teaching, was awarded the 2014 Educator of the Year by the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

As if he wasn’t already busy with LGSD’s various ensembles, Leavitt recently agreed to take on the role of conductor for the Community Symphonic Band. ACE and the Community Symphonic Band Steering Committee recruited Leavitt after the departure of long-time director Teun Fetz.

Due to a partnership between ACE and EOU, college students can participate in the Community Symphonic Band for credit. Meanwhile, other local musicians can also pursue their musical interest, according to ACE’s website.

As a result, the band is made up of 40-50 college and high school students and community members from Union, Baker and Wallowa counties.

The band rehearses once a week and performs fall, winter and spring concerts. The Community Symphonic Band is supported with funding provided by its band members, Art Center East and the EOU Foundation.

The Winter Concert will be at McKenzie Theater in Loso Hall on the EOU campus at 7 p.m.
March 13. All concerts by ACE’s community ensemble groups are free and open to the public. Donations directly benefit ACE’s arts education programs.

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