Newsletters Archive

July 2021 Newsletter

Contents of this issue

—   Mid-Columbia Symphony Ambassador Program
—   Rescheduled “Freedom” Concert
—   “Covid” Concertos
—   A Note About Our Website
—   Conductor’s Notes
—   Interview With Principal Bassist Marella McGreal
—   2021-2022 Season
—   Reminder: Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser
—   Reminder: Annual Meeting is on August 19
—   The Lighter Side Of Music
—   Music Quotes

An invitation from the Vice President: Mid-Columbia Symphony Ambassador Program

Have you thought about volunteering some time to help the Symphony? You needn’t be a musician or know about non-profit organizations. It’s a chance to contribute to our mission: to provide professional orchestral music for you and everyone in our community.

If you have thought about volunteering, here are some options to consider:
  • Join the Symphony Board. This is the greatest commitment and not for everyone, but strongly recommended if you want to make an individual impact on our organization and on our mission. The Board needs new members interested in contributing, and bringing enthusiasm and renewal to the Symphony. There is a place for everyone; few of the existing Board have backgrounds in music or running a nonprofit, but they share a passion for wanting to help the Symphony succeed, for its own sake and for the betterment of our community. If you have any questions or just want to talk about it, reply to this email and we can discuss; I’d be happy to share my own experiences.
  • Become a volunteer: Contact any Board member, to help as you see fit. Essentially, no commitment, yet possibly some interesting activities for you and probably some new ideas for the Board.  We do have specific needs in the areas of communication, marketing, and seeking sponsors/advertisers. You can volunteer to help in these areas, even without being on the Board.  Also, if you know someone who would make a good business manager, we are hiring; please have them contact us with their resume.
  • Ambassador Program. Years ago, there was a Symphony Guild, a group of patrons who worked to promote the symphony within the community, financially and otherwise. They acted independently of the Board and were quite successful. We want to reestablish this as an “Ambassador Program.” Its intent is to increase our communication and connectivity within the community.  Today there are so many ways to communicate that we can’t rely on just the newspaper or traditional advertising.  We need folks who will be part of a network, sort of like the phone trees of old, to get the word out through the various social networks you belong to… whether they are groups like Kiwanis or Rotary, your workplace groups, or social media. 

    The intent is to advocate for the Symphony through personal contacts—hence the name “Ambassador”.  “Ambassadors” would not be on the Board, but would agree to be part of our outreach when there are events, news, or opportunities to share.  The idea is to make participation as an ambassador as unintimidating as possible, taking advantage of networks you already belong to. If you have any interest in this idea, please respond to this email and share your thoughts. You could help define this program.


Bill Kuhn, Vice President, Mid-Columbia Symphony Board
Rescheduled “Freedom” concert

As you know, we were forced by excessive heat to postpone our July 4th “Celebrate Freedom” concert to later this summer. We now have a new date: Saturday, August 28, from 4:30 to 7:00pm at John Dam Plaza. It will be a “freedom party” with our concert at its core, and with food trucks to serve you and your family and friends. Invite them! We missed July 4th, but we can celebrate freedom anytime.

As noted last month, the concert is musical fireworks: orchestral arrangements of familiar patriotic and Americana pieces, such as:
•                  The Star-Spangled Banner
•                  Sousa’s Liberty Bell March
•                  Pieces from Bernstein’s West-side Story
•                  “Simple Gifts” (the Shaker melody used in Copland’s Appalachian Spring)
•                  Gould’s “American Salute”
•                  “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess
•                  “On The Trail” from Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite
•                  “Hoe-Down” from Copland’s Rodeo
•                  Armed Forces Salute
•                  America the Beautiful
•                  Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever March
Please come and join in the celebration of freedom.

“Covid” Concertos

We announced this series last month, and are still releasing new performances. During our forced hibernation, we arranged for recording and streaming performances of ensembles of our musicians. The effort resulted in four elegant, high-quality video recordings of MCS musicians performing classical pieces highlighting their musical talents—a chance to see them more intimately than is possible when viewing the entire orchestra. With help from the Arts Center Task Force, we began streaming these videos for our patrons weekly back on July 16. We will continue presenting new ones each Friday, and archiving all of them on our website. Look for announcements of videos of new performances at .

A Note About our Website

If you’ve accessed our website recently,, you might have seen several versions from week to week. If so, you’ve caught us in the act of improving it to make it easier to navigate and quicker to find specific content. A major change will happen in a month or so, so please check back later and tell us what you think. Or contact us anytime with comments or suggestions. We’d love to know what you’re thinking. You can email us at .

Conductor’s Notes

Music Director and Conductor Dr. Nicholas (Nick) Wallin, when not teaching or conducting, enjoys hiking and climbing in the mountains in the summer. His passion has been shared by many composers, both well-known and lesser-known. This month Nick shares his thoughts about classical “mountain music” on a new video. He refers to a few familiar pieces such as In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg, and to many lesser-known, interesting classical musical works of all kinds. Watch it and learn on the video page on our website, or here.

Interview with Principal Bassist Marella McGreal

Dr. Wallin has been interviewing Symphony musicians so we can know them more personally than just as members of the audience. This month he interviews our Interim Principal Bassist, Marella McGreal, in a new video that you can find on the video page on our website, or directly here. Marella is a “home-grown” musician who began by taking lessons in high school from symphony bassist Clay Wick, and then while in college accepted an invitation from Clay to play in the Symphony. She has been with us ever since, except for a few years in Brooklyn to be with her future husband, Devin. Marella is also a talented artist; you can find her work here. Watch and learn how she lives in worlds of both music and painting as she shares with Nick in this interview.

 2021-2022 Season

Our 2021-2022 Season—our 77th year—begins with a Halloween Concert on October 30 at Art Fuller Auditorium at Kennewick High School. This will repeat the theme of the well-attended family concert from several years ago, but with a new musical program. Future concert venues will be announced as they are established. We look forward to celebrating the opening of a dedicated Performing Arts Center, and moving there as a resident company. Please look at to see the planning and progress toward that major cultural advancement in our community.

Reminder: Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser

Thanks to everyone who helped with or contributed to this year’s remote Mid-Columbia Arts Fundraiser. Next year the event will be live again. It’s been scheduled for Saturday, March 19, 2022, at a venue to be announced. Keep the date open and plan on joining us the fun of celebrating the performing arts in the Mid-Columbia region.

Reminder: Annual Meeting is on August 19

The annual meeting of the Mid-Columbia Symphony Society will be on August 19th at 7 PM in the form of a Zoom meeting. Given the current concerns about the “Delta variant” of Covid-19, we thought it would be best not to ask people to congregate physically. The meeting “location” is
     Meeting ID:   890 5366 4561
     Passcode:       976052
Or use this internet link, here.

This is the meeting at which members of the Society—that’s you—review and approve new members of the Board and positions on the existing Board. We need to add to the Board people interested in applying time and diverse talents toward meeting our mission. Whatever your education, experience, and interests, there is a place for you. Dive in and try it! Bring your new ideas and enthusiasm to the meeting. An application to join the Board is available on-line, here.
The Lighter Side Of Music
A home-grown string bass at
an early stage of production

Music Quotes

Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.
—   Steve Martin


Where words fail, music speaks.
—   Hans Christian Andersen