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Choral Arts Ensemble sings songs from the stage.

Choral Arts Ensemble sings songs from stage musicals and operas.

One often overlooked value of Oregon classical music is its frequent appearance in benefits for noble causes, especially for students. The weekend offers several opportunities to hear good music and help good causes.

On Friday and Saturday, Portland Chamber Orchestra plays music from classic films — including arrangements by venerable Portland classical music legend Norman Leyden, who’ll be there Saturday to receive a lifetime achievement award. The Saturday concert is also preceded by a fundraiser for this important Oregon music institution.

The other big symphonic show this weekend is the Oregon Symphony‘s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony #2, Paul Hindemith’s colorful “Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber,” and Franz Liszt’s Romantic Piano Concerto #2, with the solo part graced by the much-lauded virtuoso Stephen Hough.

Another good cause benefits from Moussai Remix‘s Sunday performance of string quartets by Prokofiev and Mendelssohn at Portland’s Ivories Jazz Lounge: proceeds will help pay for a young string quartet to go to summer music camp. And still another worthy beneficiary, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, gains when Greg Lief plays piano music by Debussy, Beethoven and Chopin Saturday at Milwaukie’s Classic Pianos.

While PCO looks to the screen, the Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland draws inspiration from the stage. On Saturday and Sunday at Portland’s St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the choir sings music from operas and stage musicals by Bernstein, Copland, Berlin, Verdi and more.

Portland’s fabulous Resonance Ensemble will be singing and three different organists playing music by some of Oregon’s finest living composers Sunday afternoon at Marylhurst University’s St. Anne’s Chapel when Cascadia Composers convene for performances of music by the excellent Oregon composers Tomas Svoboda, Bonnie Miksch (from Portland State), Michael Johanson (from Lewis & Clark College) and more.

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