The Festival presents three major events each year: 1) a four-day April Festival for high school orchestras, 2) a Winter Chamber Music Concert Series with high school students and professional musicians playing side-by-side, and 3) a Composers’ Symposium for high school students.
The Festival is one of Oregon’s and the country’s most unique and successful high school classical music programs. The Festival was established in 2016 is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt organization and is listed with the Oregon Cultural Trust. The annual four-day Festival for six high school string orchestras was held in April 2017, 2018, and 2019. During the 2018-19 school year the Festival’s Board launched phase II, a Winter Concert Series (three events), featuring high school string quartets and professional quartets playing side-by-side. The Festival launched phase III, a high school Composers’ Symposium, during the 2019-20 school year.
The future of symphonic music rests in the hands of our young generation. We can only secure its future by finding creative and engaging was to enable young people to fall in love with symphonic music and to form friendships that will endure for a lifetime.
The annual April Festival is a unique, 4-day for six high school orchestras. Professional conductors are the instructors. Schools with a high percentage of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch are given priority admission.
The Winter Chamber Music Concert Series features high school quartets and professional quartets playing side-by-side. It provides an opportunity for talented individuals and small ensembles to perform in front of a live audience – outside their home town.
The Composers’ Symposium is produced in collaboration with the Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) and with faculty in the music department at Oregon State University (OSU). The Symposium is a unique opportunity for high school students to submit an original composition (i.e., score), receive instruction from professional composers, and have it performed. The symposium offers an opportunity for high school students to submit an original composition, receive instruction from professional composers, and hear his/her music performed. Dr. Dana Reason is the Symposium’s clinician. She is founder and director of popular music studies at Oregon State University. She is currently the coordinator of contemporary music and research at Oregon State University.