WEEKEND: Director to return to podium at Port Townsend concert
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Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
Maestro Dewey Ehling, longtime conductor of the Port Townsend Community Orchestra, will present its holiday concert Saturday night after having recovered from a heart attack suffered Thanksgiving Day.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

CHIMACUM — Despite an unexpected turn of events, maestro Dewey Ehling and the Port Townsend Community Orchestra will present their holiday concert Saturday night.

Ehling, the longtime conductor of the orchestra, suffered a heart attack the morning of Thanksgiving Day and was transported to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

After surgery to place a stent in an artery that had been 90 percent blocked, Ehling returned home to Port Angeles two nights later. Soon, he declared that he would take up his baton again.

“I'll be there,” he said Thursday, referring to the Port Townsend Community Orchestra's performance set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ehling also will give his traditional pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m.

Free admission

Admission is free to both the talk and the concert in the Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road.

Listeners of all ages are welcome, and more information awaits at www.PortTownsendOrchestra.org.

“I'll have help” discussing Saturday's program, Ehling added. Otto Smith will talk a bit about his concertina music, and oboist Anne Krabill will discuss “Gabriel's Oboe,” her piece from the movie “The Mission.”

Hollie Kaufman, Ehling's assistant conductor, will lead the national anthem and the first piece of the night; then composer and arranger Karl Bach will conduct a work he created for the orchestra.

“I've rehearsed all the other pieces on the program,” Ehling said. These include George Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 — and a set of Christmas carols for a sing-along.

“There will be quite a lot of audience singing,” said Ehling, “which will be fun for everyone.”

The maestro, who will turn 85 next week, also plans to lead Handel With Care, the sing-along of Handel's “Messiah,” on Dec. 28 in Sequim.

Admission is free to that event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave.

But as always, donations will be gathered, since Handel With Care is the annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Sequim Community Aid.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 05. 2013 7:05PM
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