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Danielle Davey selects pieces that highlight works of women, minority classical composers

If You Go

What: "Winter Celebration with Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra and MHCC Symphonic Band"

When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Where: MHCC Theatre, 26000 S.E. Stark St., Gresham

Conductor: Tim Gilson

Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students/seniors

For tickets and information: visit mhcc.edu/theatreboxoffice/ or call 503-491-7154

COURTESY PHOTO: MHCC MUSIC DEPARTMENT - The Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra, pictured here in 2019, will perform a concert set on its own, then combine with the MHCC Symphonic Band to perform Wagner's Der Meistersinger.  Like spring making its early entrance, a revived partnership between Mt. Hood Community College and Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra will blossom on Sunday, March 8, with a collaborative concert.

"We are delighted that the college and the Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra have a renewed partnership," said Danielle Davey, director of bands and music instructor at the Gresham college. "This partnership allows our students access on campus to this wonderful ensemble for rehearsals and concerts."

The "Winter Celebration with Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra and MHCC Symphonic Band" concert begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Mt. Hood college theater at 26000 S.E. Stark St., with the Symphonic Band. Following a brief intermission, the Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra will perform on its own, with both ensembles coming together for a grand finale featuring the overture to Wagner's "Der Meistersinger."

"We wanted something really exciting and loud for the finale," Davey said. "It will be fun to have tons of musicians on stage."

Davey and her husband, Dan Davey, MHCC's music director, conceived the joint concert in spring 2019 as a way to bring the music department closer with Mt. Hood Pops. The latter used to regularly rehearse as well as perform at the college, but the active partnership between the two entities had waned since 2010 or so.

Now, students again have the opportunity to earn credits and gain performance experience with the community orchestra which is directed by Ken Selden, director of Orchestral Studies at Portland State University, and Tim Gilson, MHCC Orchestra director.

"It's a real fun way to get the groups combined," Danielle said. "Dan and I saw a real opportunity for the community college to engage with the (larger) community."

With Selden busy with an orchestral engagement, Gilson will conduct the two ensembles' performances.

On its own, the Mt. Hood Pops will perform Pasek & Paul's "The Greatest Showman," Brahms' "Symphony No. 2," and "Salute to Big Bands," arranged by Calvin Custer.

The Symphonic Band program includes: Dana Wilson's "Shortcut Home" (2003), Julie Giroux's "One Life Beautiful" (2010), John Philip Sousa's "Loyal Legion March" (1885), Shelley Hanson's "Albanian Dance" (2005), and Malcolm Arnold's "Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo," a three-movement work arranged by John P. Paynter (1979).

"One Life Beautiful," Danielle Davey noted, was written in memory of a woman killed by a drunk driver.COURTESY PHOTO: MHCC MUSIC DEPARTMENT - The Mt. Hood Community College Symphony Band, pictured here, will perform a combined concert with the Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra on Sunday, March 8.

"It's kind of a hopeful song too," she said.

The pieces reflect Davey's desire to broaden the scope of composers the Symphonic Band takes on.

"The Symphonic Band at MHCC plays a wide variety of music, including standard wind band repertoire and newer works," she said. "I make sure to choose music that reflects the diversity of our ensemble, including music written by women and under represented composers.

"With our bands, most of the songs are written by older white gentlemen," she added. "For this, we have works composed by women. I think it's been because most wind band music (until about) 10 years ago was primarily written by older white men. They had the money, resources, composition degrees and so on. Now there's more wonderful music written by female composers and composers of color."

Davey searches far and wide for compelling pieces of music by composers of various backgrounds and styles.

"I find new music by talking to colleagues, listening to recently published music, and attending state and national band conferences, where new music is being performed," she said. "I hope the audience will find enjoyment listening to our variety of music."


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