Celebrate the season at the
Oregon Mandolin Orchestra’s 10th Annual Holiday Concert
The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra proud to announce its 10th annual Holiday Concert in Hillsboro, featuring a guest performance by violinist and vocalist Michelle Alany, a renowned ambassador of Sephardic, Eastern European and Mediterranean folk music.
Rollicking Concert Program
“This year’s Holiday program draws from and expands on a number of Oregon Mandolin Orchestra traditions,” said Christian McKee, the orchestra’s music director. “We will play Christmas music -- both sacred and secular -- and music from the Sephardic Jewish tradition as well. Along with a few old favorites, we’ll be tackling some thrilling music by Mozart that I’ve wanted to do for years for which the time was finally right. As always, there will be something for everyone to love!”
McKee said the program mix is sure to recall days of hot cider, snowmen and sleigh bells. But the musical journey will be broadened by Alany, whose repertoire reverberates with Judeo-Spanish and klezmer influences – the perfect ingredient for Hanukkah celebrations.
“I’m very excited to have Michelle Alany on the program this year,” McKee said. “She’s an outstanding musician whose repertoire will dramatically broaden our palette, and that experience will be a mutual one as she makes her first appearance on stage with a mandolin orchestra.”
The program also includes pieces by Sibelius, Calace and a rousing rendition of Mozart’s Symphony No 40, sometimes referred to as the “Great G-Minor Symphony.”
Acclaimed Guest Artist
Michelle Alany, (www.michellealany.com) who splits her creative energies among the music scenes in Portland, Austin, New York City, and the Bay Area, has lived a personal journey full of movement, growth and change.
She grew up hearing a variety of international music, including Israeli, Hungarian and Romani folk songs. When she was fifteen, Michelle moved to Portland and intensified her studies of classical violin. She played in klezmer, Balkan and Latin bands while studying jazz and chamber music at Cabrillo College and violin performance at UC Santa Cruz, where she graduated cum laude. While visiting Spain before graduation, she was drawn to Sephardic music, the music of Spanish Jews.
In 2009, after further studies at the Berklee College of Music, Michelle moved to Austin, where she was awarded a grant to launch the Sephardic Crossroads music festival, increasing the reach and popularity of music previously unknown to most. She has since performed as a soloist with the New Spain Orchestra in Dallas, TX and she taught and performed at Festival Djudeo-Espanyol VII, an annual gathering organized by Casa Sefarad in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that explores that state’s Crypto-Jewish history, language and culture.
Following her second tour in Spain, Michelle returned to Portland in 2017, where she continues to collaborate with an incredible depth and variety of musicians and bands. She performs locally and internationally to sold-out audiences in a variety of venues as a soloist and with her all-star band, Michelle Alany & The Mystics. In 2019, she was the subject of the short documentary “The Michelle Experience” by award-winning filmmaker, Jason Rosenblatt.
Deeply inspired by traditional music, she draws from a wealth of diverse influences and is known for fresh interpretations of ancient melodies, hypnotic strings and passionate improvisation. Michelle enjoys sharing songs as cultural vehicles for celebrating differences and appreciating similarities.
Michelle Alany has developed a unique style that draws on soulful Sephardic, Balkan and Israeli songs spiced with Texas-inspired country blues licks.
OMO Quad Squad Strikes in Goose Hollow
The Oregon Mandolin Quartet will play at Goose Hollow Days on Saturday, October 5, 12:45-1:30
You might still be thinking about BBQs and ballgames, but the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra already is getting ready for an exciting holiday season set to end in a thunderous crescendo. In addition to putting on three public concerts, the OMO also has been engaged to deliver two private performances for community groups, packing the orchestra’s schedule.
OMO Chamber Ensemble Opening for the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra. In the first public recital, a run-up to Thanksgiving, the OMO Chamber Ensemble will deliver a prelude performance before a Nov. 22 concert by the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra.
The Grotto Festival of Lights. The full orchestra will take a turn on center stage Dec. 4 during The Grotto’s Festival of Lights in Northeast Portland, to help celebrate the advent of Christmas.
Annual Holiday Concert. The orchestra’s 10th annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 13 will feature special guest artist Michelle Alany at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro. Alany, an accomplished vocalist and violinist, draws heavily from Sephardic musical traditions to broaden a program already filled with familiar holiday favorites. Get your icket in advance:
We'll see you there!
The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra is dedicated to bringing the beauty of mandolin music to audiences while providing opportunities for local musicians to perform.
The mandolin was the most popular instrument in America in the early 1900s. That love affair fully bloomed when mandolin orchestras sprang up in cities across the country, enchanting concert-goers with a distinctive collective tinkle of musical rain.
Although tastes shifted over the years, appreciation of the mandolin was rekindled during the Folk Revival of the 60s. This set the stage for the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra, which was founded by Brian Oberlin and Elizabeth Farrell in 2010.
Today, the nonprofit, all-volunteer Oregon Mandolin Orchestra counts two dozen dues-paying members who play mandolin, mandola, mandocello and mandobass – all the varied voices of the mandolin instrument family. Acoustic guitars and upright string basses occasionally round out the mix.
Christian McKee, Musical Director, has made music since childhood, playing Suzuki violin as a youngster, and singing in choirs until the age of eighteen. Since then, Christian has toured and performed on the West coast in multiple ensembles on mandolin, mandola and mandocello.
Christian believes that at its best, music is a true conversation amongst the musicians that is shared with the audience and guided by the vision of the composer. Best of all, like any good conversation live music is pleasantly unpredictable and different each time. Christian brings a great deal of enthusiasm to his role as the Orchestra’s musical director, and invites everyone in the Pacific Northwest to enjoy this beautiful music along with us.
If you are interested in performing with the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra, contact Christian at email@example.com.