Holidays bring a long list of music events

December is music month in Hood River.

From caroling downtown on Friday night (see “Hood River Holidays, page A1) to high school singers and globe-traveling jazz musicians, and young pianists to veteran rhythm and blues players, the holiday music season has it all.

Below is a list of concerts and musical events happening between now and Christmas. Watch future Hood River News editions for updates.

(Then there are the holiday concerts given at schools in each community; seating is limited in most cases, but you can always contact your school of choice and ask about attending.)

“Christmas with the Trail Band” happens Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Hood River Middle School auditorium, a benefit for Hood River Education Foundation.

Previous articles carried the wrong starting time.

Tickets are $17 adults, $6 kids under 14;

available at Waucoma Bookstore and Cascade Locks School.

n Dec. 6 — Advent Concert Series begins, noon at Riverside Community Church. Admission is free: Hood River Valley High School Concert Choir and Chamber Singers (Dec. 13, Riverside Choir and students of Diana Beterbide; Dec. 20, “Fiddlin’ Around Christmas” with Donna Reuter and Diane Allen.)

n Dec. 7, Girl Up benefit, 7-9 p.m. at The Gallery 301, Hood River. HRVHS female choir Aurora will perform.

The evening is organized by Aurora member Caitlyn Fick, an HRVHS junior, who chose to help Girl Up for her Extended Application Project, something every junior must complete.

Fick said Girl Up supports girls in developing countries, to have access to an education.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the gallery or at Waucoma Bookstore, and will also be available at the door.

Fick has collected artwork from local artists including Mark Nilsson, Sue Sutherland and Shelley Toon Lindberg for the silent auction.

Email for details.

n Dec. 7, 8 — Voci Community Chamber Choir and Interludes Vocal Ensemble, “Blessings and Gifts” annual winter concerts.

Both performances will be at Hood River Middle School, 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 8. A $10 donation is suggested. Director Mark Steighner says that the concert — although not a traditional evening of Christmas music — does have some thematic elements that run through the musical selections.

“We are singing several songs in praise of Mary, or Mother Earth, or the mystery of birth and creation.” Included in the eclectic evening’s music are Sarah Hopkins’ “Honour the Earth as Your Mother,” Franz Bibl’s “Ave Maria,” and William Byrd’s “O Magnum Mysterium.”

In addition to the 60-voice Voci choir, the program also includes the Interludes, a small vocal ensemble drawn from the ranks of Voci. Interludes will present music spanning several centuries and styles.

Voci and Interludes are sponsored by the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association.

n Dec. 7 — Mid-Columbia Community Choir Christmas Concert, 7 p.m. at Riverside Community Church. Admission is free but a goodwill offering will be taken for FISH food bank.

n Dec. 8 — Rock violinist Aaron Meyer returns with this six-piece band, 3:30 p.m. at Gorge Room, Best Western Hood River Inn. All proceeds benefit United Way of the Columbia Gorge. Tickets are $20 general, $15 for children, $45 preferred seating, available at Waucoma Bookstore or at the door, or email or call 541-386-8300.

n Dec. 8 — The Groove Project Christmas Concert, 7 p.m., Columbia Center for the Arts.

“The concept behind this musical project is to create fun and unusual versions of common Christmas songs that make them as interesting for us to play as they are for audiences to listen to,” said Groove Project founder pianist Tim Mayer. “We change the harmonies and the rhythmic feel to come up with jazz-inspired, funky or gospel arrangements of Christmas favorites such as ‘The Little Drummer Boy,’ ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ ‘Linus and Lucy,’ ‘Away in the Manger,’ ‘Silent Night’ and more. They are all Christmas songs that are familiar but played in a way that you’ve never heard before. Some of these arrangements are so innovative they haven’t even been innovated yet.”

The musicians in the band include Tim Mayer (piano), Char Mayer (vocals), Rick Hulett (guitar), Ryan McAlexander (bass), Mike Stillman (sax) and Tim Ortlieb (drums).

n Dec. 8 — Mid-Columbia Community Choir Christmas concert, 4 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church sanctuary, 1280 W. Jewett, White Salmon. Admission is free, but a freewill offering will be received for the White Salmon Mount Adams Ministerial Association and the Evangelical Pastor’s Association Emergency Fund.

n Dec. 9 — Winter concert, Hood River Valley High School, 7 p.m. at Bowe Auditorium at HRVHS.

n Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; Dec. 9, 6 p.m. — Recitals by students of Diana Beterbide, Riverside Community Church.

This event benefits Rowena Wildlife Clinic, who will bring Jack the great horned owl, with his handler, Susan Lestock, talking about the clinic and the work they do.

n Dec. 9 — Christmas with the Trail Band, in concert at The Dalles Civic Auditorium, 7 p.m.

n Dec. 12 — Friends of Diana concert, 7 p.m., a benefit for Adopt A Dog, Riverside Community Church — pianist Diana Beterbide and several of her students performing unusual arrangements of seasonal carols using many different instruments including hand chimes, a drum and finger cymbals, cello, flute and the pipe organ. Also featured are cellist Edward Lee, who is a volunteer at the shelter, and flautist Dawn Rankin. Donations are $10 for adults and $5 for kids under the age of 12.

n Dec. 12 — “A Night to Remember,” Hood River Middle School cafeteria, 7-8:30 p.m. Music students will perform, items will be up for silent auction, and students in the food and conservation science program will sell baked goods. Proceeds go to the HRMS music and FACS programs; suggested family donation is $10.

Also of note:

n Dec. 12 — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” opens at CAST Theatre, and runs Dec. 12-15 and 19-21. See page B3 for details, or visit

n Dec. 14-15 — “Scenes from The Nutcracker,” Hood River Middle School, performed by Columbia Gorge Dance Academy students, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. This is a benefit for FISH and Providence Hospice of the Gorge.

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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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