Area students perform in All-State Orchestra

Eric Jepsen, Harald Erickson and Aurora Torres took part in the All-State Orchestra Concert Sunday in Eugene. <i>Contributed photo by Bill Jepsen</i>

EUGENE - The Oregon All-State High School Orchestra received a standing ovation and enthusiastic applause at the end of Piotr Tchaikovsky's "Marche Slave" that concluded their concert Jan. 27 at the Hult Center of Performing Arts in Eugene.

Three Eastern Oregon musicians were among the 100 students selected by audition to perform. Aurora Torres, a senior at Pendleton High School, and Eric Jepsen, a sophomore from Ione High School, played violin. Harald Erickson, another senior at PHS, played string bass.

The orchestra was directed by Jeff Edmons, an award-winning conductor from San Diego. The concert in Eugene also featured performances by the all-state band and choir. It was held at the conclusion of the Oregon Music Educators Association's annual state convention.

Torres, Jepsen and Erickson, along with their peers from throughout Oregon, began an intensive rehearsal schedule on Jan. 25. Meanwhile, Travis Sipher, Pendleton School District orchestra teacher, was kept busy with his duties as All-State Orchestra manager.

According to Sipher, there were some 200 students who auditioned just for the strings section of the orchestra this year.

"It was a spectacular group of kids with a lot of talent," he said. "Many in attendance commented that the orchestra gave one of the best performances in recent years."

In addition to the Tchaikovsky piece, the orchestra performed portions of Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" and "Scheherazade" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

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