North Coast Chorale Breathes Life into The Voyage

Spring Bicentennial Concert – Our Past, Our Present and Our Future
Saturday, May 14, 7:00 pm, Sunday, May 15, 2 pm CCC Performing Arts Center, 16th & Franklin, Astoria

North Coast Chorale 2011
CELEBRATING ASTORIA’S 200TH BIRTHDAY and its 20th, the North Coast Chorale (NCC), directed by Dr. Denise Reed-Hinds, has commissioned a work called The Voyage, by Barbara Poulshock, to premiere at its spring concert. Poulshock, 85, worked with Dr. Reed-Hinds and board president Carol Smith to pick out poems that could be set to original music. “Dr. Reed-Hinds wanted the work to represent subjects pertaining to Astoria’s history involving migration – those settlers who traveled land and sea to make Astoria their home,” Poulshock recounted. The poems, by Emily Dickenson, Walt Whitman, Paul Dunbar, John Masefield, William Blake, Archibald MacLeish and Jack Prelutsky, “tell stories about traveling the sea, but are metaphorically connected to our journey through life,” according to Dr. Reed-Hines. She added, “The songs on paper are just notes until they will be sung for the first time in performance at our concert. The NCC will breathe life into the notes and they become music.”

Poulshock has enjoyed a long career of teaching piano and voice, both institutionally and privately. She taught at the University of California at Long Beach, Cornish Institute, Orange Coast College, and 20 years at Pacific Lutheran University as a professor of voice and opera, in addition to composing numerous works for voice and piano. She lives on the Long Beach peninsula.

The first half of the concerts will include songs from some of the cultures that have helped to bring Astoria to its 200th birthday, including the native population that was here way before Lewis & Clark, Capt. Robert Gray, John Jacob Astor and other American, European and Asian immigrants.

The chorale’s own Wilho Saari, world-renowned kantele player and composer (over 2000 pieces written!), will have one of his compositions sung by the chorale, with a solo by his daughter, Karen. Dr. Reed-Hinds arranged several of the songs featured at the spring concerts. “The commissioned work and arrangements and compositions by chorale members highlight the chorale as a creative force,” said Dr. Reed-Hinds.

After a successful set of performances of Fauré’s Requiem in April, the mood will be upbeat and celebratory at the chorale’s spring concert series. Look for a special treat as the chorale’s men perform a sea shanty complete with period costumes! Special guest Janet Bowler will play the flute, and the beautiful and talented Debbie Loyd will accompany the chorale on piano.

By Bob Goldberg

Bob moved to Astoria from Seattle in 2005, on the day Katrina hit New Orleans. He started writing for HIPFiSH in 2007. With a previous career as an environmental engineer with the Washington State Department of Ecology and a researcher at various companies and national labs, Bob tries to bring his scientific (i.e. objective) background to journalism. Outside the HIPFiSH world, Bob does programming on KMUN radio, sings tenor in the North Coast Chorale, tutors at Clatsop Community College, and helps with websites. He lives in Astoria with his beautiful and wonderful wife, his son and two cats.