OSO musicians play porch concerts

This weekend blessed us with some wonderful spring weather, and several of my colleagues in the Oregon Symphony gave impromptu concerts on their front (and sometimes back) porches. The wonderful photographer for the Classical Up Close series, Joe Cantrell, was on hand to document them, and here are some selected shots from his gallery on Facebook.

ghost light

Photo: IATSE Local 28 Schnitz Crew

This photo got to me. First time I’ve cried since our season was suspended. Missing all of my friends and colleagues, including our hardworking and passionate staff and management team, and our stage crew brothers and sisters. Hope it’s not too long until we can talk to each other face to face again, and to make music.

an open letter to my Oregon elected officials

[Note: I’ve been asked to provide a basic letter or script that could be used as the basis for your own appeal on behalf of the Oregon Symphony to the powers that be in Oregon. So I offer the following up as a starting point for your own personal appeal. I’ll put the list of officials at the end of this post. Thanks for your help.]

My name is Charles Noble, and I have been the Assistant principal violist of the Oregon Symphony since 1995. I have worked since the age of nine to be a professional musician. To be able to support myself and my family doing what I love means the world to me. Even more important is the fact that I share great music with so many people around the City of Portland, the State of Oregon, and the world. All of that is under serious threat now. I fear for my livelihood and the future of my beloved orchestra more than I have in my 25 year history with this orchestra.

I am contacting you to urge you to come to the aid of the Oregon Symphony. We are unique in that our very existence depends upon having thousands of people in the concert hall with us as we perform, and we need to be close together (often within three feet of each other) in order to perform as an ensemble. With those things now made impossible due to restrictions on public gatherings, we have no way to earn income to keep the orchestra going. With the exceptionally low levels of government and corporate support for the arts in Oregon, we depend more than other major symphonies on ticket sales, but grassroots support can’t sustain us during this crisis. As a non-profit, we have neither deep reserves nor the ability to take out extensive loans.

The Oregon Symphony provides incalculable benefit to the City of Portland and the State of Oregon. It provides solace and inspiration for many thousands of Oregonians and our community will need us more than ever after this immediate crisis is over. There MUST be an Oregon Symphony left to perform as soon as conditions allow, and to do that we need emergency funding to keep the orchestra alive.

We musicians desperately want to perform and our audiences desperately want to hear us, but there is no way for this to happen without some kind of intervention in the form of emergency funding. Please help insure that the Oregon Symphony will survive for the future benefit of all Oregonians.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler [mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov] – 503-823-4120; @tedwheeler

Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly [chloe@portlandoregon.gov] – 503-823-4682; @ChloeEudalyPDX

Oregon Governor Kate Brown – 503-378-4582; @oregongovbrown

US Rep (1st District) Suzanne Bonamici – DC office: 202-225-0855; Beaverton office: 503-469-6010; @RepBonamici

US Rep (3rd District) Earl Blumenauer – DC office: 202-225-4811; Portland office: 503-231-2300; @BlumenauerMedia

Senator Ron Wyden – DC office: 202-224-5244; Portland office: 503-326-7525; @RonWyden

Senator Jeff Merkley – DC office: 202-224-3753; Portland office: 503-326-3386; @SenJeffMerkley