OES ends an odd season with real in-person concerts

By on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – The Oregon East Symphony is holding its final concert of the strange season, and it will be the first one before a live audience. Executive Director J.D. Kindle said with current COVID-19 restrictions, only 55 tickets can be sold. Two performances will be held, one at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and the other at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Audience members will be socially distanced and are required to wear masks. The “Back in the Saddle” performances will feature masked string musicians and, for one number only, an unmasked but fully vaccinated oboist.

Kindle has been working on seating charts and preparing to take reservations, but he said the most challenging part of planning the concert was finding the strings musicians since things had begun to open.

“Some of them had weddings or other commitments they couldn’t get out of,” he said. “I had to kind of dig deep, and there will be a few new faces in the string orchestra.”

The orchestra will be conducted by Beau Benson for the first time since November 2019. Prior to this performance, the orchestra has had a drive-in concert canceled due to wildfire smoke, a holiday music program that was condensed to a 45 minute radio broadcast, and a chamber music series that was performed virtually.

For more information on the program and reservations go to http://www.oregoneastsymphony.org/.