About the Oregon East Symphony
For twenty-nine years the Oregon East Symphony & Chorale has provided Pendleton and its surrounding rural region with high quality musical experiences and events. A volunteer Board of Directors guides the organization, which is administered by a management team consisting of an executive director, program manager, publications manager, and office manager. This team, with the help of many devoted volunteers, facilitates six diverse season concerts, fundraising events and a host of comprehensive musical education programs.
Our Music Director and Conductor, Beau Benson, travels from Waco, Texas, to rehearse and conduct three of our symphony performances. Bruce Walker is our assistant conductor and conductor for the A Sharp Players. Steve Muller, from Pendleton, is our Chorale Director.
Musicians with the Oregon East Symphony & Chorale come from around the Pacific Northwest region to play. They hail from as far away as Portland, Eugene, Joseph, Baker City and La Grande in Oregon; and Spokane, Pullman, Vancouver, Tacoma, Ellensburg, Yakima, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla in Washington. The OES wishes to encourage all musicians, young and old, to find their musical roots and join in the music. You will always be welcome in the orchestra that fits your level of performance.
In addition to its regular concert series, the Symphony is committed to a unique and comprehensive youth music education project (Playing for Keeps) that supports, among other activities, two preparatory orchestras, a mentorship program for young musicians, scholarships for instrument rentals and music lessons and free concert tickets for students.
Our Board of Directors
John Wilson - President
Sue Nelson - Vice President
A rehearsal accompanist and orchestra keyboardist, Sue has played for many Oregon East Symphony concerts. She also accompanies Oregon East Symphony Chorale, Pendleton Men's Chorus, Community College Theater, church choir, and local vocalists. She and husband George live outside of town on a small acreage.
Cathy Muller - Treasurer
Lezlee Flagg - Secretary
Steven Bass is president and chief executive officer of Oregon Public Broadcasting. He is the principal clarinet with the Oregon East Symphony and second clarinet with the Vancouver (WA) Symphony Orchestra. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with majors in economics and music. He also holds a Master of Arts in business from the University of Wisconsin's Graduate School of Business.
Kate Bottorff has loved classical music since she was a little girl in Miss Judah's music class. She has sung in numerous groups since young, including church, high school, and college choirs, Sweet Adeline's, Louisville Bach Society, and now the Oregon East Symphony Chorale. She believes in the power of the arts to enrich and transform lives. A retired Presbyterian minister, she is the mother of three and grandmother to four granddaughters.
Alice Hepburn is the church secretary and treasurer of First Presbyterian Church. Alice was an Army Brat raised all over the US and Germany. She was educated at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. In 1981 she married her husband, Gordon, who then enlisted in the Air Force and she continued her nomadic ways. They made a home in Pendleton in April 1999 and her parents and younger brother have now moved here as well. Alice became a member of the OES board in 2014.
Ambassador (ret.) Harriet Isom has been on the OES Board of Directors since the late 1990s when she returned to her home town of Pendleton. She enjoys life on her family ranch and participates in a variety of community affairs. She loves the fact that northeastern Oregon has such a fine orchestra, made possible by regional support, and that the OES is emphasizing the preparation of young players for the future.
Bill Mayclin was the choral director at Pendleton High School for 30 years retiring in 2002 and was director of the Peace Lutheran Church Choir for 30 years retiring in 2014. He currently directs the Pendleton Men’s Chorus, is president of the Morrow-Umatilla Retired Educators Association, and is treasurer of the Peace Lutheran Church Memorials Committee. He has also directed and acted in several College-Community Theatre productions over the past 37 years.Children at Concerts Policy
Sharon is a native Oregonian. The middle of five children, she grew up in a home filled with music. Everyone played one or more instruments and/or sang in a choir except for her patient and supportive mother that endured some amazing and not so amazing sounds. Sharon is a retired educator working to support the arts in the schools with music being at the top of the list.
Wanda is a retired partner in a general insurance agency in Hilo, Hawaii. After retiring in 1986 she and her husband moved to San Diego for 4 years before returning to their home town of Pendleton. She has been blessed to have the opportunity to travel extensively including all 50 states and 39 foreign countries. Her hobbies include golf, bridge,dancing, travel and fishing. She has hunted until the past few years and has sky dived, ridden an Olympic bobsled with an Olympic driver, and tried skiing with little success but still maintains a healthy sense of adventure.
In order to avoid distractions to both the audience and the performers, no children under three years old are to be admitted to ticketed Symphony concerts. Parents must attend to their young children at all times during a concert. If a child is exhibiting disruptive behavior during a performance, both the child and their parent will be asked to wait in lobby for the remainder of the performance.
Family season tickets are for 2 adults and 2 children. No children are allowed to sit on parents' laps in lieu of purchasing a ticket.