Sinfonietta promises musical adventure

The final weekend of Blossom Festival will provide local and visiting families a special musical treat to enjoy.

On April 27 at 7 p.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m., the Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta will present a “family classics” concert, featuring familiar and easy-listening tunes geared to appeal to every age, performed at the Hood River Middle School auditorium.

Selections from popular films including “The Sound of Music,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Gladiator” will complement the more traditional classics, including Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” and the first movement of Schubert’s “Symphony #8, Unfinished.”

“My favorite piece on the program is the Brahms. The music is like a roller coaster of contrasts and changes in tempo, color and rhythm,” said Mark Steighner, conductor for the Sinfonietta.

As an added bonus for the children in the audience, the Sinfonietta has invited the Mid Valley and Parkdale school recorder ensembles to play a “blues” piece, arranged by Steighner, along with the orchestra.

“Appreciating any kind of great art takes patience and developing some tools. Parents can help prepare their children by playing some of the music on the program for them before they come,” said Steighner.

“Great classical music — like great books, films, poetry and drama — speaks to the issues of what it means to be human, in a way that popular culture can’t,” said Steighner. “It’s the nature of popular culture to be consumed and forgotten.

“By contrast, the longing and melancholy in the melodies of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ symphony are as full of beauty and sadness as they were two hundred years ago.”

These are the final Sinfonietta performances of the season. Two remaining Voci choir concerts, also presented by the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association, will be offered for Mother’s Day, on May 13 and 14.

All CGOA concerts are free but donations of $10 per individual or family are appreciated at the door.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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