Portland, June 24th. Oregon Symphony supporters gathered to honor their beloved “Pops” conductor, Norman Leyden. The benefit at the Nines Hotel featured Pink Martini’s China Forbes in a duet with Norman Leyden. (Photo Credit, John Rudoff, M. D.) The Oregon Symphony also announced the creation of, The Norman Leyden Award saying it, “Recognizes outstanding individuals or groups who bring exceptional creativity, innovation and leadership through music to the community. The Award will be presented only when merited and is inaugurated by honoring its namesake.”

Oregon Symphony President, Elaine Calder

Oregon Symphony President, Elaine Calder, who announced earlier this month she is leaving her post.

(More about Elaine Calder’s departure in the PortlandSocietyPage.com News section)

For over 35 years, conductor Norman Leyden helped make the Oregon Symphony one of the most subscribed-to orchestras in the nation. Explained Symphony leaders, “In his 95th year, we honor his 75 years of performing, conducting, arranging, music directing, and composing for artists such as Glenn Miller, Arthur Godfrey, Gordon MacRae, Jane Powell, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett.”

The evening included musical entertainment and dancing.

The evening included musical entertainment and dancing.

The event featured a special performance by Pink Martini lead by Thomas Lauderdale

The event featured a special performance by Pink Martini lead by Thomas Lauderdale.

Pink Martini’s performance was sponsored by Janet & Richard Geary. Other donors included: Connie & Carl Clark, Kristine & Josh Collins, Bill & Karen Early, Barbara & Jerry Giesy, Robert & Janis Harrison, Clayton & Sudee Hering, Gretchen Holce, Allison Howard & Sarah Seitz, Renee & Irwin Holzman, Jerry & Beth Hulsman, Thomas Lauderdale & Philip Iosca, Lynn & Jack Loacker, Louis & Judy McCraw, Laura Meier, Arlene Schnitzer, Karl & Peggy Smith, Larry & Dorie Vollum, Walter & Nancy Weyler, and Jack & Ginny Wilborn.

From the Oregon Symphony: Since the Oregon Symphony was established more than 100 years ago, it has been recognized for its internationally acclaimed music directors, skilled performers, diverse programs and outstanding community services in education and regional touring. The Oregon Symphony now ranks among the largest orchestras in the nation and as one of the largest arts organizations in the Northwest, with an attendance of more than 225,000 people annually and 76 full-time musicians. Tickets for the 2012-2013 season are now on sale.