Orchestra from Portland, Oregon playing #concerts on a whirlwind tour of Italy!

Photo of the Oregon Arts Orchestra in Dvorak hall courtesy of the OAO
Photo of the Oregon Arts Orchestra in Dvorak hall courtesy of the OAO

I have been attending the concerts of the Jewish Community Orchestra in Portland, Oregon over the last few years. The mission of this amateur orchestra is to further the growth of local artists by presenting concerts that attract, educate and entertain local audiences. My friend and work colleague Cara Fong plays bassoon in the orchestra, so that is how I originally found out about the concerts, but I continue to attend them because they are truly enjoyable. Not only do they play at a very professional level, but they have featured some very gifted young musicians who need a platform to perform.

I found out recently that Cara will be playing bassoon in a series of concerts in Italy as part of the Oregon Arts Orchestra (OAO). Members of the OAO come from several Oregon orchestras including the Newport Symphony, a professional orchestra from Newport, Oregon along with members of the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra (OPACO) and the Jewish Community Orchestra from Portland, Oregon.

The OAO will be making a whirlwind tour of Italy, playing concerts in Rome, Montecatini, Venice and finally in Milan. The tour starts on August 26th and they will finish in early September. The group has been invited by the mayors of Rome, Florence and Venice to perform as musical ambassadors representing Oregon and the Northwest United States. The orchestra will be performing on the concert series “An American Celebration of Music in Italy”, designed to showcase outstanding American orchestras.

The Oregon Arts Orchestra’s Italy concert tour begins with a performance at Rome’s Chiesa Sant’Andrea della Valle, the 17th century church where Giacomo Puccini set the first act of Tosca. The group will then continue on to Florence to perform at the Tettucio Baths Pavilion, an open-air pavilion of marble surrounded by gardens and fountains. The orchestra’s final performance will take place in Venice at the Loggia dei Cavalieri, a 13th century symbol of political power held by the nobles in the period of the free municipality.

In addition to their performance schedule, performers will have the chance to enjoy sightseeing and musical activities in their various stops including: Rome, Siena, Florence, Venice and Milan. In Cremona, the group will have a private showing and playing of Stradavarius instruments by the museum curator.

Cindy H. Petty heads up this group of very dedicated musicians that are touring in Italy. She is conductor emeritus of the Jewish Community Orchestra and is conducting the OAO concerts in Italy. She has also conducted the OPACO orchestra in the past. Cindy graduated from the University of Utah in both conducting and education and then continued to develop her conducting skills with Kurt Masur , Riccardo Chailly and Maren Alsop.

I look forward to hearing about the experience from Cara when they return.

Ci sentiamo presto, Lina

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