Fire fallout

A very quick update from Pendleton… 

The implications for the orchestra are far worse than we initially feared, due to problems with the orchestra’s insurance and liability issues with the buildings owners. Our insurance company and that of the building’s owners may be sparring for some time over who is responsible for the costs. It may be many months, possibly over a year, before the orchestra sees any help from insurance.  Smith’s Boot and Shoe Repair and the Pendleton Coffee Bean were also both destroyed. I know both Claude, owner of the boot shop, and Paula, owner of the Coffee Bean, and they are among the kindest and hardest working business people you could ever meet. Both have poured their every energy into those businesses. I feel awful for them, and I don’t know how I will survive our next concert without Paula’s coffee.  Since the office opened in 1999, it has also often served as a popular show space for the work of local artists. There were, as always, a number of original works on display in the office on Thursday, and collectively the artists have seen tens of thousands of dollars worth of their work destroyed. The orchestra is going to set up a temporary office at the Art Center. Portland Internetworks have generously donated us a new computer to get started. In the short term, the orchestra will desperately need help to survive. Donations can still be sent to our old address, and will be forwarded on.

The OES is a 501c3 non-profit, and all donations are tax-deductable. 

Oregon East Symphony 

Fire Recovery Fund

424 S Main

Pendleton, Oregon 97801

It will take at least a year for the orchestra to recover its prospects, but first we must survive for the next few months.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.


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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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