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Guest artist series opens with Portland orchestra chamber players

Performance held at Gorge Interpretive Center

The Portland Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players takes the stage May 20 in the first Skamania Performing Arts (SPAF) Guest Artist Series concert of 2007.

Playing the original instruments of the Baroque era, bringing the humor and casual nature of the original chamber music to Stevenson, this is a concert not to be missed.

The Baroque period fostered the small musical playing group now known as a Chamber Group. Often gathering after dinner or for an afternoon, these were casual, fun and informal musical gatherings. The formal, the stiff and the "performance" all came much later as the performances moved into mainstream musical practice.

In the Baroque period chamber music flourished and became what many refer to as "classical" music. In the transition to wide acceptance, much of the character, the use of improvisation and the use of Baroque instruments dropped by the way as the style became formalized. The Baroque Players, with harpsichord, violincello and baroque violins. take us back to a time when everyone played an instrument and music together became the after dinner entertainment. When they pull the bow, the Baroque Players pull back into the 1600s and draw the audience into the vibrant and melodic times of Baroque life.

Appropriately, this concert will be held in the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center and Museum, which houses many collections relating to the history of Skamania County and the native America culture before the Anglo influx. A close and intimate setting, infused with the history of the area will only enhance the lively improvisation and repartee of the Portland Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players.

The Portland Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players include: Adam LaMotte, baroque violin; Greg Ewer, baroque violin; Lori Presthus, baroque cello; and Susan Jensen, harpsichord.

The Guest Artist Concerts are $25 with children under 12 free for concerts at the Skamania Lodge amphitheatre. Students and seniors are $20.

SPAF offers two options for series subscriptions. The full series subscription is $100 (a savings of $25). Three concerts of your choice are $65 (a savings of $10).


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