Symphony opens 70th season


LA GRANDE — The Grande Ronde Symphony Association will hold its first concert of the season at 7 p.m. Nov. 15. The show opens the symphony’s 70th season and pulls together a number of musical traditions.

The concert’s theme, “Finding Our Why,” includes music from Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Macabre” and Austria’s New Year’s tradition of “Radetsky March” by Johann Strauss.

The fall concert will also include the ever-popular, multi-movement “Nutcracker Suite” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The “Nutcracker Suite” is based on a story of a young girl receiving a nutcracker for Christmas that looks like a soldier. While she sleeps, she dreams that all her Christmas presents come to life and fight against the Mouse King and his minions. The Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra will present a collection of the dances from the ballet.

The second half of the concert will feature Eastern Oregon University’s music professor Matt Cooper playing Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21,” promising a familiar tune.

“Everyone will immediately recognize and fall in love again with this masterful, most beloved work as Matt strikes the opening notes,” according to the press release for the event. “‘Piano Concerto No. 21’ is well-known for its enchanting second movement and derives its nickname from the same section.”

The movement was featured in the tragic 1967 Swedish film, “Elvira Madigan” and has been quoted in countless other media, including Neil Diamond’s “Song Sung Blue” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Cooper has performed at many solo and chamber recitals at EOU and around the northwest. He has also performed in Iowa, Minnesota and Russia.

“We are very pleased that this will be Dr. Cooper’s fifth appearance with Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra since he joined the EOU music faculty in 1991,” Patty Sandoz wrote in the press release.

Additional information about the fall concert is on

Ticket information

Tickets cost $12 at the door for adults or $8 for seniors. College students get in for $2 and students in eighth through 12th grade get in for $1. Children younger than eighth grade get in for free.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Direct Music Source, 1010 Adams Ave., La Grande, or at Betty’s Books, 1813 Main St., Baker City. They can also be purchased online at

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