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Bluegrass ensemble rounds up annual performances

Published on August 31, 2018 2:15PM

EOCenes, which features a group of former Eastern Oregon College classmates, return for a pair of Round-Up week shows at Pendleton Center for the Arts. Tickets are now on sale for the Sept. 13-14 performances, which are expected to sell out.

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EOCenes, which features a group of former Eastern Oregon College classmates, return for a pair of Round-Up week shows at Pendleton Center for the Arts. Tickets are now on sale for the Sept. 13-14 performances, which are expected to sell out.

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EOCenes (and friends) performed before sold-out crowds during a pair of Round-Up week shows in 2017. Tickets are on sale for this year’s shows, which are Sept. 13-14 at Pendleton Center for the Arts.

Contributed photo

EOCenes (and friends) performed before sold-out crowds during a pair of Round-Up week shows in 2017. Tickets are on sale for this year’s shows, which are Sept. 13-14 at Pendleton Center for the Arts.

Buy this photo

EOCenes to play Sept 13-14 at arts center

By TAMMY MALGESINI

East Oregonian

The Round-Up week tradition of bluegrass music continues at Pendleton Center for the Arts.

Residents and visitors alike will be treated to a first-rate show as a group of old college friends rendezvous in Pendleton for a pair of shows. EOCenes features Ron Emmons of Hermiston, Hugh McClellan of Oregon City, Duane Boyer of Haines and Hal Spence of Dallas. In addition, they are often joined by Alan Feves, bassist with Cabbage Hill, who also packs around his bass performing with a variety of ensembles; and Dan Emert. A National Old-time Fiddle Champion, Emert played a blistering rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” on stage with Charlie Daniels in 2006 at Wildhorse Resort & Casino (You can find it on YouTube).

Roberta Lavadour said EOCenes is a show people won’t want to miss.

“With the fluid grace that comes only with musicians who’ve played together for more than 50 years, this group puts on a show that will delight both you and your Round-Up guests,” she said.

EOCenes formed in the late ’60s while the classmates were attending Eastern Oregon College (now University). Emmons and Boyer met during freshmen orientation week and then connected with Spence and McClellan through their involvement in the Eastern Oregon College Ambassadors. The musical touring group performed across the Pacific Northwest, including as part of a recruitment program for the college. The EOCenes moniker is a play on the college’s monogram, EOC (which later became EOU) and the Eocene epoch, a period on the geological time scale occurring millions of years ago.

The performances are Thursday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the arts center, 214 N. Main St. Tickets are $12 each. Those interested in attending are encouraged to reserve a seat as the shows are expected to sell out.

Each member of the group has played for a wide variety of groups and ensembles over the years — with much success. Decades later, Spence said they hooked up again after running into each other at a festival in Tygh Valley.

“And, we still remembered some songs, so we started playing a few projects together,” he said.

Bluegrass shows during Round-Up week extend beyond the handful of years that EOCenes have been taking the stage. Cabbage Hill was featured a number of years — with the core group of Emmons, Emert and Feves, along with a changing cast of additional musicians.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call 541-278-9201 or visit www.pendletonarts.org.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539



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