I received the following urgent email from Nadene Steinhoff, who works in the Office of Communications at Willamette University:
"I've been talking with Jay Chen, who is a trumpet teacher here at Willamette University. He is a native of Chengdu, from the Sichuan Province of China, 50 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. He has been watching the images emerging from China and said, 'I have never cried so much in my life.'
The quake occurred in the middle of the day, so schools were the hardest hit. In just one school alone, more than a thousand children were buried, Chen said. 'When they were uncovered, they were found wrapped in their teachers’ arms. There is a true humanity here. The response by the Chinese government is also unprecedented.'
Chen, who is also principal trumpet with the Portland Opera, is organizing a response. He is short on time and big on heart, and hopes to get the word out quickly. He has invited friends from the Portland Columbia Symphony, Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet and Oregon Symphony, along with professors from many Portland and regional universities, to join him in a fundraiser, scheduled for Sunday, June 1, at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 1838 SW Jefferson Street in Portland. (There is free parking, or use the Goose Hollow MAX stop).
Compelling slides of the disaster will be accompanied by brass ensemble music, provided by French horn, trumpet and low brass musicians. One timpanist will join the group. Chen will speak about the disaster in China and how it has affected people’s lives. All funds will go to the American Red Cross for dispersal to earthquake victims."
WHAT: Concert to Benefit Quake Victims
WHEN: Sunday, June 1, at 4 p.m.
WHERE: First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson Street, Portland
Benefit Concert Coordinator
Portland Columbia Symphony