Community group concludes season


Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 1.34.57 PMLA GRANDE — The Community Symphonic Band, sponsored by Art Center East, will hold its final concert of the 2016-17 season on June 5.

Among the show’s selections are a few pieces that call to mind a cinematic experience.

Reminiscent of an epic film score, much like from “The Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Rossano Galante’s “The Redwoods” features dynamic brass fanfares, sweeping woodwind lines and a wealth of stylistic and emotional variety.

Guests will also enjoy the familiar music of the “Funeral March of a Marionette,” a short piece by Charles Gounod. It was originally written in 1872 for a solo piano and orchestrated in 1879. It is perhaps best known as the theme music for the television series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

The spring concert will be held at 7 p.m. in McKenzie Theater in Loso Hall on the Eastern Oregon University campus. All concerts performed by Art Center East’s community-ensemble groups are free and open to the public, though donations are appreciated and directly benefit Art Center East’s community ensemble programs.

More about the group

Thanks to a long-standing partnership between the art center and EOU, college students can participate in the Community Symphonic Band for credit as they pursue their musical interest. The result is a mixture of 40 to 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.

About the conductor

After the departure of long-time Band Director Dr. Teun Fetz, Art Center East and the Community Symphonic Band Steering Committee recruited La Grande native and EOU alumnus Chris Leavitt to take the helm.

Leavitt is currently the director of bands for the La Grande School District, where he guides all aspects of the band program. 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.

He was awarded the 2014 Educator of the Year by the Union County Chamber of Commerce. When he’s not busy with the band, Leavitt enjoys spending time with his wife, Holli, and his daughter, Anneliese.

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