Aaron Meyer sets strings and audiences afire

Dec. 9 concert benefits United Way agencies

Imagine a sumptuous musical mixture of rock, pop and classical all swirled together like a peppermint parfait served up by world-class musicians presented with high energy and uplifting spirit.
That may be the best way to describe the upcoming performance by concert rock violinist Aaron Meyer, slated for Sunday, Dec. 9, 3:30-5 p.m., benefiting United Way of the Columbia Gorge.


Imagine a sumptuous musical mixture of rock, pop and classical all swirled together like a peppermint parfait served up by world-class musicians presented with high energy and uplifting spirit. That may be the best way to describe the upcoming performance by concert rock violinist Aaron Meyer, slated for Sunday, Dec. 9, 3:30-5 p.m., benefiting United Way of the Columbia Gorge.

Imagine a sumptuous musical mixture of rock, pop and classical all swirled together like a peppermint parfait served up by world-class musicians presented with high energy and uplifting spirit.

That may be the best way to describe the upcoming performance by concert rock violinist Aaron Meyer, slated for Sunday, 3:30-5 p.m., benefiting United Way of the Columbia Gorge.

“The great thing about Aaron Meyer is his unique style,” said Gordy Sato, co-organizer of the event for United Way. “He’s a rock violinist but he appeals to everyone. Once people have heard him, they are there every time he’s in town.”

According to Sato, Meyer is well-known around Oregon and has toured the world. A classically trained violinist since age 5, Meyer debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 11, and has soloed with major international symphony orchestras and ballet companies.

He has also performed for many world leaders including the Dalai Lama, and has worked with widely contrasting artists such as Pink Martini, Smokey Robinson, Aaron Neville, and The Temptations.

Recently Meyer performed with the Oregon Symphony and locally with the Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta, while continuing his pioneering combination of contemporary music with virtuoso violin playing.

Back for a third year supporting United Way, Meyer and his six-piece band will dazzle crowds with haunting renditions of well-known seasonal music along with a wide variety of pop, classical and new age pieces as well.

“We know that in conjunction to having a great concert experience, the audience will also help so many people in the community by coming to listen,” said Sato.

As with all United Way donations and fundraisers, according to Sato, 99 cents of every dollar raised stays in the community “to help your neighbors. So, yes, the money stays here.”

The ticket sales have already hit a good pace, according to Sato, with the pre-concert artist meet-and-greet seating already sold out. “We do still have general admission seats available,” he noted.

This year, he said, the local United Way allocated more than $130,000 across 28 agencies, to fund nonprofits that meet basic needs, offer protective services, help youth and families and improve quality of life.

A sampling of recipient agencies include: FISH food bank, Meals on Wheels, Hood River Christmas project, American Red Cross, Hood River Warming Shelter, HAVEN, Helping Hands Against Violence, CASA, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, St. Francis House of Odell, First Book and Mentor for Success.

“A lot of people want to give to the community but don’t want to do the research, but by giving to United Way you know that every dollar is going to greatest need,” Sato said.

Tickets for the Dec. 9 event are available at the Best Western Hood River Inn Gorge Room front door, or by presale at Waucoma Bookstore, Best Western (front desk) and through any United Way council member. Prices are $20 for adults or $15 for youth 12 and under.

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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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