Bringing music to Washington County
The newest arts organization on the block, Chamber Music Hillsboro, wants to make music accessible to everyone.
Its founder, Hillsboro resident Scott Calhoun, created the charity group because he thinks music should be enjoyed without a suit and tie.
"Sadly, my dear classical music has been marketed as elitist for decades," Calhoun said. "Go to classical music concerts across the nation, and invariably the male musicians are in black tie or business suits whilst the ladies are similarly in black. Sort of like cotillion meets funeral, style-wise.
"That formality still flies with today's elderly benefactors, but it isn't cutting it with younger folks who don't exactly cherish pomposity," he said. "Instead, we're going for casual at Chamber Music Hillsboro. Pure listening enjoyment. No hoopla."
Calhoun started Chamber Music Hillsboro earlier this year with the plan to hold four concerts a year at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro. Tickets will always be $25, and all the net proceeds from its performances will go directly to the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Endowment, he said.
The idea to find a way to benefit the city's art landscape came from his own passion for classical music.
"I thought, 'What is missing in Hillsboro?' and I'm a fan of chamber music," Calhoun said. "I noticed we didn't have any consistent chamber music in this area, not only Hillsboro, but even from Beaverton to Banks. We're going to have almost a million people in this county someday, and I'm getting ready to serve that audience."
He moved to Hillsboro 12 years ago and it quickly becoming his home, he said.
After living in various places around the country and selling his technology business in Washington, D.C., Calhoun become involved in volunteering in any way, shape or form.
He worked as a speaker statewide for the Oregon Historical Society, helping to establish a history speaker series at clubs, senior living homes and organizations.
Calhoun spent time with Chamber Music Northwest as a volunteer, and plans to work closely with them on contacts for future musicians to play for Chamber Music Hillsboro.
Chamber music historically is performed in small venues, including people's homes, and features a select number of musicians each with their own part. The artform is appreciated worldwide and continues to find a place in the classical music scene.
Chamber Music Hillsboro's first chamber music performance presents string quartet Mousai Remix, formed by Oregon Symphony Orchestra members Emily Cole on violin, Shin-Young Kwan on violin, Jennifer Arnold on viola, and Marilyn de Oliveira on cello. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro.
Concessions will be provided, as well as a performance of a musical group in the lobby as attendees walk in.
An artist, Hillsboro resident Marco Serito, will be on stage during the performance and will paint the quartet as they play. Later the painting will be auctioned off, with the proceeds also donated.
"I'm hoping the live, classical music will attract people, and they'll know these musicians are the real deal," Calhoun said. "This is a chance to experience something completely different."
By Janae Easlon
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune971-762-1166
Follow Janae at @Janae_Easlon
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