Conrad performing at Santacroces

Yes, it’s true. For those loyal die-hard fans who didn’t get enough the first time, or for those unfortunates who just didn’t show, Santacroces’ is doing it again: another night of Italian opera music, where you can see “the diva” up close and personal, so to speak.

Plus, in honor of the season, some German music will be featured, to which you can weep into your “Octoberfest” beer (or whatever your drink of choice). Sorry, no oompa bands or accordions, but Wagner, Lehar, Mozart, Schumann, and more. The performance will take place on Saturday, October 11 at 8 p.m. There will be a $5 cover and no one under 21 allowed. Call 541-354-2511 for reservations.

“The diva” this time will again be Stevensonian, Jan Conrad with accompaniment by Portland pianist Tracy Ross. Ross is a native Californian who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of California, Berkeley and the Manhattan School of Music in New York where he received his Masters of Music degree. With music study starting at age 5, Ross went on to perform professionally on both piano and trumpet. He has toured with the Western Opera Theater throughout the United States and has also performed in Japan.

A lyric-coloratura born in Whittier, Calif., Conrad has performed some 20 operatic roles with New England Lyric Operetta, New Jersey State Repertory Opera, Amato Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Omaha, Regina Opera, and Long Island Opera. While in New York she did everything from singing telegrams to singing waitressing to caroling on the Letterman Show.

Locally, Conrad performs with the Hood River Sinfonietta, Northcoast Philharmonic, Sylvia’s Class Act Dinner Theatre (Portland), and was featured at the Hood River Center for the Arts “Art & Soul” fundraising gala. Awards include the Met auditions, the VOCE Competition and NATS. She teaches private voice lessons and also helps her boyfriend, Jim Bowery, run Columbia Street Wizards, a computer service in Stevenson, Wash.

Conrad will also be performing a similar “Evening at the Opera,” presented for free by the Stevenson Community Library in Stevenson, Wash., on Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., with Gloria James on piano. James is a graduate of University of Redlands, with graduate studies at USC, University of Washington, & Seattle University. Also she was a music specialist at Seattle Public Schools for 34 years.


Another upcoming performance will be at the Hood River Harvest Fest on Oct. 19 at 12:30 p.m. with Charlene Brinster on piano. A “closet” classical pianist and triple-threat in her own right, Brinster also plays bass and sings in a local band, Blue Trick.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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