March. 10 - 17,
Making music and making
Corvallis Community Band brings range
of ages together for annual winter show
By MARY ANN ALBRIGHT
Frank deLespinasse, 94, has been playing
the euphonium since 1925. A few years ago, the retired naval
engineer and band conductor from Woodburn decided to join his son,
Paul, at a Corvallis Community Band rehearsal.
He's been coming to concerts and
rehearsals ever since.
"It's just a fine band, and I have fun,"
he said. "They do high-level music, and the director (Steve Matthes)
is very professional and efficient."
Paul deLespinasse has 55 years of
experience playing the clarinet. He enjoy how the band allows him to
stay involved in music and spend more time with his
On Sunday, March 19, the deLespinasses
and about 63 other musicians from Corvallis and the surrounding area
will perform "Music of the Russian Masters" for the Community Band's
annual winter concert.
The program features late-19th century
and 20th century Russian composers. Repertoire includes "Procession
of Nobles" by Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov, "Waltz of the Flowers" and
"1812 Overture" by Peter Tchaikovsky, "Russian Christmas Music" by
Alfred Reed, "Vocalise" by Sergei Rachmaninoff and "A Tribute to
Artie Shaw" arranged by James Christensen and featuring Matthes on
Artie Shaw may not sound Russian, but
jazz clarinetist Shaw was born Artur Arshawsky, the son of Russian
Many of the pieces are originally for
orchestra, and have been arranged for band performance.
Founded in 1976, the Corvallis Community
Band is a nonprofit organization whose motto is "Sharing the joy of
music with our community."
Band membership is free, and no auditions
are required, though organizers ask that everyone play at the high
school level or better.
During the school year, the band
practices every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8:45. During the summer,
they practice in Central Park from 7 to 8, then give a
Members range from teenagers to retirees.
At 94, Frank deLespinasse holds the honor of being the band's oldest
The group is sponsored by Corvallis Parks
and Recreation, and Northwest Band Camps is sponsoring the winter
The Community Band Flute Choir will join
the band in concert, providing intermission entertainment in the
James Douglass, band member and director
emeritus of OSU bands, will direct three dances from 20th-century
Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich's lighthearted "Jazz Suite No.
Band member and music educator Donna
Wernz will direct "Comedians' Galop" by Dmitri Kabalevsky, featuring
Beth Jordan on xylophone.
Local harpist Laura Zaerr will join the
band for "Waltz of the Flowers" from "The Nutcracker."
David Wallace, retired band director from
Western Oregon University, joined the Corvallis Community Band over
10 years ago.
He's been playing the clarinet for 68
years, and was looking for a music outlet after leaving
"You have this instrument that you've
spent most of your life with, and it doesn't seem like a good idea
to pack it away," he said.
In addition to playing in this concert,
Wallace will direct "Vocalise," which he said is a challenging piece
to perform well.
"All of these people making sounds
together, creating something, bringing to life something that a
composer or arranger made, is a sensation you can't get anywhere
else," Wallace said.
This concert is one of the band's more
ambitious, in terms of programming, Wallace said. He thinks the
audience will especially enjoy hearing familiar songs such as the
Many people may recognize the piece from
the National Symphony Orchestra's annual Fourth of July concert on
the National Mall.
But while the Washington, D.C.,
performance uses a cannon, the Corvallis Community Band will use a
big bass drum for the thunderous sections.
Clarinetist Sue Borden, retired OSU math
instructor and Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences
program director, is a founding member of the band. She keep coming
back because she enjoy being part of "a collaborative experience
where every person matters."
"I like the intergenerational aspect of
it. We've got people ranging from high school kids to nonagenarians.
There's a nice social aspect to it. Everyone is good friends,"
If You Go
What: Corvallis Community Band Winter
When: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 19
Where: OSU's LaSells Stewart Center, 875
S.W. 26th St.
Tickets: The concert is free.
Complimentary tickets are available at Grass Roots Books &
Music, Gracewinds Music, Rice's Pharmacy or at the door.
Information: Contact Sue Borden at
752-6036, or visit the band's Web site at www.c-cband.org
Print this story
Email this story