Portland, OR. The Oregon Symphony broke another record at Gala 2019: Landmark with $1.2 million raised on Saturday, April 13th at the Portland Art Museum. More than 400 guests, including 2019 Gala Honorary Chair Jordan Schnitzer, who posed with with Lois Schnitzer, honored the legacy of Arlene Schnitzer and the late Harold Schnitzer. Supporters celebrated the Symphony’s standing as a landmark organization in Oregon and nationally.
The evening began with the Symphony’s annual free community concert held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The program, titled Music of the Americas, was a tribute to the vast influence that Latin music has had on composers hailing from all three Americas.
Midway through the concert, the 2019 Schnitzer Wonder Award, created by Jordan Schnitzer in honor of his parents Harold and Arlene Schnitzer, was presented to Mariachi Una Voz, a group comprised of middle and high-school students from the Hillsboro School District. The award, accepted by the group’s manager Dan Bosshardt in both English and Spanish, includes a $10,000 contribution. Following the award presentation members of Mariachi Una Voz, dressed in traditional costume, filled the stage to perform two pieces with the orchestra and received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd.
Following the concert, gala guests walked across the South Park Blocks for a three-course formal dinner in the Portland Art Museum’s Kridel Ballroom. The room was decorated with floor-to-ceiling banners featuring line drawings of famous landmarks from North, South, and Central America by artist Amanda Iler Fuson.
As dinner began, Showalter shared many of the recent exciting Oregon Symphony achievements including its continued work in the community and the growth of its classical concert series next season. Principal Timpanist Jon Greeney then took the stage with four of his student musicians to present a work by Steve Reich called Clapping Music. This minimalist piece is performed entirely by individuals clapping hands in different rhythms and presented a “hands on” example of how easily everyone can engage with and connect through music.
The delight in the room at this performance was palpable as the bidding began for the Symphony’s most successful gala to date. Showalter expressed his gratitude to all the guests noting, “I thank you all for your incredible support. Your generosity, along with that of all of our annual donors, will make possible our commitment to the broadest and most diverse array of outreach programs in the state. I look forward to our future!”