Chamber orchestra to give free concert

The Willamette University Chamber Orchestra will be the guest collegiate symphony performing in the opening night concert of the Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival on Friday, April 26, at the Newport Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy photo)

The renowned Willamette University Chamber Orchestra of Salem will be performing on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Newport Performing Arts Center.

Members of the chamber orchestra are the guest collegiate artists participating in the third annual Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival, which features six Oregon high school string orchestras in performance Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27.

Directed by Héctor Agüero, the University Chamber Orchestra (UCO) is open by audition to all students of the university, regardless of major. With a string ensemble as its core, the UCO adds wind and brass performers to suit the repertoire of each concert.

The University Chamber Orchestra presents two to three performances each semester. In addition to collaborating with opera and musical theater productions, the orchestra performs music that spans from the baroque to modern eras. Committed to making music on a global level, members of the UCO recently performed in Xalapa, Mexico, as part of an exchange program established with the Universidad Veracruzana.

The orchestra will perform “All Joy Wills Eternity,” from Visions and Miracles by Christopher Theofanidis, Suite No. 3 for Violin, Viola, and Strings by Kurt Atterberg and Concerto for String Orchestra, Op. 17 by Joly Braga Santos.

Located in the heart of the picturesque Willamette Valley and across the street from Oregon’s capitol building in Salem, Willamette University’s Department of Music offers students a program of rigorous and intensive training in specialized music disciplines combined with a balance of core courses in theory, history and literature all within a liberal arts environment.

Agüero is assistant professor of music at Willamette University, where he conducts both the chamber orchestra and wind ensemble. Over the past decade, Agüero has earned a reputation as a dedicated music educator. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. Before joining the music faculty at Willamette, Agüero was the music director of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, a staff conductor with the Houston Youth Symphony and director of orchestras as well as instrumental department chair at the prestigious High School for the Performing & Visual Arts in Houston, Texas.

Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the PAC will be the Oregon Coast Youth Symphony's Festival's opening concert featuring the North Salem, Pendleton and Grants Pass high school orchestras followed by the Willamette University Chamber Orchestra. The scene shifts to the Newport Middle School gym Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., with performances by the Tigard and West Linn high school orchestras.

The grand finale will feature all six high school orchestra students coming together with a mass performance featuring the music of Ernest Bloch and composer Soon Hee Newbold's “Iditarod.”

Both concerts are free to the public and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, go to the festival website —