Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths

Cascadia Composers is excited to announce the opening concert of its 2021-2022 season: Crossing PathsNew Music of Healing and Renewal. This unique concert experience will be our first live event in many months and will take place at the Leach Botanical Garden (6704 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97236-5037) on Sunday, September 26th at 5 p.m.

Be sure to bring something to sit on if you like, or feel free to sit on the grass. Click on the button above for a detailed view of the entire garden, including the locations where musicians will be performing.

Audience members may stroll the woodland grounds in a contemplative setting between musical ensembles and sound installations creating an atmosphere of meditation and reflection.

Hear soothing and upbeat performances by Justin Bulava, clarinet, Amelia Lukas, flute, Alexis Mahler, violin Hannah Penn, mezzo-soprano, Kate Petak, harp and Dylan Rieck, cello.

Soak in new sounds from composers David Bernstein, Antonio Celaya, Jay Derderian, Theresa Koon, Kevin Bryant Lay, Mei-ling Lee, Lisa Marsh, Jan Mittelstaedt, Paul Safar, Walter Saul, Greg A Steinke, Mark Vigil and Linda Woody.

Gate opens at 4 p.m. with the music beginning at 5 p.m.

Before the music begins, guests are welcome to explore the upper and lower gardens and enjoy a sound installation courtesy of Daniel Brugh. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and may pack in a picnic to enjoy on the upper garden grounds. Alcoholic beverages are permitted but no food or beverages will be sold on-site.

At 5 p.m. audience members will rotate through performances by three different musical ensembles spaced in different locations around the upper garden: solo flute; mezzo-soprano and harp; and violin, clarinet and cello. Concert guests may experience the music at each location in any order they choose. Each ensemble’s set will last approximately 20 minutes, with two 10-minute intermissions.

Currently masks are required in any crowded or indoor areas of the garden, including restrooms.

Tickets are $20 general admission/$10 seniors and working artists/$5 students/free for children under 12, and are available at the gate, or click on the icon just below…


We hope you can join us for this unique and timely concert in this beautiful natural setting!

Leach Botanical Garden logo

And be sure to mark your calendars for Cascadia Composers next big event: Fierce, Fabulous, and Fully Coiffed Friday, December 10th, 2021 at 7 p.m. at the Clinton Street Theater, Portland, OR !

In Good Hands 2021

In Good Hands 2021

Cascadia Composers is not about to let summertime slide into fall without a real, bonafide encore presentation of our beloved summer tradition:


In Good Hands
Saturdays September 11th, September 18th, and September 25th on our YouTube channel at 3PM.


Please note: dates and times in program are inaccurate.


Join us in celebrating talented student performers from across Oregon and Washington playing brand new music written by Cascadia Composer members in this special outreach project of Cascadia and the next generation of musicians!

The numbers show that this is our biggest In Good Hands concert yet with 17 teachers, 53 students ages 7 to 22, and 19 composers participating!

Many of the compositions will be premieres which were written specifically for the student performers, creating an extra special artistic connection.

The programs will include works for cello, flute, oboe, violin, voice and piano.


September 11th, 3:00PM (PDT):

Music By: Timothy O’Brien, David Bernstein, Paul Safar, Liz Nedela, Ally Rose Czyzewicz, John DeRuntz Jr., Lisa Neher, Dianne Davies, Elizabeth Dyson, Walter Saul, Carla Bartlett, Jan Mittelstaedt, Greg Steinke, Linda Woody, Jennifer Wright


September 18th, 3:00PM (PDT)

Music By: Liz Nedela, Carla Bartlett, Lisa Neher, Jan Mittelstaedt, Nicholas Yandell, David Bernstein, John DeRuntz Jr., Daniel Brugh, Linda Woody, Dianne Davies, Timothy Arliss O’Brien, John Hidalgo

September 25th, 3:00PM (PDT)

Music By: Jan Mittelstaedt, Lisa Neher, John DeRuntz Jr., Carla Bartlett, David Bernstein, Elizabeth Dyson, Liz Nedela, Dianne Davies, Nicholas Yandell, Walter Saul, Ted Clifford, Timothy Arliss O’Brien


Please remember,
for those of you who either missed some of the concerts and presentations of the NACUSA 2021 Virtual New Music Festival this spring or want to view them again, do not fear as the links remain online here:

NACUSA 2021 Virtual New Music Festival

NACUSA 2021 Virtual New Music Festival

Cascadia Composers Hosts First Ever Virtual NACUSA Conference!

April 17 — May 2, 2021


Cascadia Composers, the Northwest chapter of the National Association of Composers USA (NACUSA), in partnership with Lewis & Clark College, will host NACUSA’s biennial conference as a virtual experience with all events held online for the very first time in the organization’s 87 year history. The conference is open to the public and offers abundant opportunities to experience the hottest trends and most captivating techniques in modern classical music through six days of concerts and presentations.

All events are free (donations encouraged) and available in the links below.

The conference features performances from a host of local ensembles including Friends of Rain, The Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble, Pacific University Chamber Singers, and members of the Portland Percussion Group, in addition to renowned music organizations from across the country, including Duo Stephanie and Saar, The Crossing, American Wild Ensemble, Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Concert Chorale, and members of the International Contemporary Ensemble and members of Ensemble Dal Niente. Performances showcase the music of over a dozen local composers, plus over two dozen more composers from around the country. The variety of programs, ensembles and composers provides an engaging cross-section of relevant thematic content, appealing to both avid new music fans and occasional concert-goers.

Hear Charles Noble interview two conference organizers, Linda Woody and Jeff Winslow, about highlights on Charles’s podcast “Classical Currents”.

To be added to our mailing list, enter your e-mail below:

9 + 3 =


2021 NACUSA Conference Schedule: April 17 — May 2, 2021


All concerts will be streamed and viewable indefinitely afterwards on the Cascadia Composers Youtube Channel. Click on individual concerts below to see the concert programs and to watch the concerts.

Fresh Finds — Saturday, April 17th, 5pm PDT

***Click here to watch concert***

Cutting-edge works by student composers from Lewis & Clark College, Portland State University and The Evergreen State College, culminating in a performance of Violin Sonata No. 1 by 2019 NACUSA Young Composers’ Competition winner Zach Gulaboff Davis. Featuring local musicians including The Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble.

In the Neighborhood — Sunday, April 18th, 5pm PDT

***Click here to watch concert***

Chamber music by members of Cascadia Composers up and down the West Coast, from Bellingham, WA to the Los Angeles area, including composers in Portland, Forest Grove, Lake Oswego, Vancouver and Eugene. The concert features performances from Friends of Rain, Lewis & Clark College’s new music ensemble, with varying subgroups of the college’s music faculty.

Beethoven’s 251st — Saturday, April 24th, 5pm PDT

***Click here to watch concert***

Last December 17th was the 250th anniversary of the birth of über-classic composer Ludwig van Beethoven, an occasion for celebration around the world wherever European classical music is enjoyed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cascadia Composers was unable to present its planned celebratory concert live in March of 2020, so we’re doing the next best thing, a year later. Along the way we’ve added two works, including a World Premiere, from the festspiel March Music Moderne VII: BTHVN 2020 which was also postponed. Featuring the incredible Duo Stephanie and Saar performing Beethoven’s own four-hand arrangement of his Große Fuge, and more!

Spring Fever! — Sunday, April 25th, 5pm PDT

***Click here to watch concert***

Spring is a time of mercurial moods and itchy feet. NACUSA celebrates with this collection of members’ music composed, performed and recorded all around the USA. Featuring The Crossing, Sam Houston State University Symphony Orchestra, Texas Christian University Concert Chorale, Pacific University Chamber Singers, American Wild Ensemble, and members of the Portland Percussion Group and members of Ensemble Dal Niente.

Amplitude & Attitude — Saturday, May 1st, 5pm PDT

***Click here to watch concert***

A one-hour, high-voltage concert of electronic, electroacoustic and media-only music from NACUSA members all across the USA. Features three delightfully absorbing videos, colorful and mesmerizing by turns.

A Wider World — Sunday, May 2nd, 5pm PDT

***Click here to watch concert***

A celebration of acoustic chamber music from NACUSA members all across the USA, performed by Friends of Rain, members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, and local musicians.



Click on the presentations below to watch.

Dr. Greg A Steinke: Music and the Poetry of Austin Kleon — Saturday, April 17th at 3:30 PM PDT

***Click here to watch presentation***

A presentation on musical compositions that utilize the “blackout” poetry of Austin Kleon and reflect the poet’s (and the composer’s) perceptions of the current world milieu. Presenter will share thoughts and ideas about working/interacting with the poetry with short excerpts from several works.

Dr. Lisa Neher: Effective Text Setting = Happy Singers! — Sunday, April 18th at 3:30 PM PDT

***Click here to watch presentation***

Effective vocal writing requires attention to text setting. Learn tools to make your vocal music sing beautifully, rehearse easily, and be understood by listeners. Bring your questions!

Dr. Greg A Steinke: Music and the Poetry of Lawson Fusao Inada — Saturday, April 24th at 3:30 PM PDT

***Click here to watch presentation***

A presentation on an array of musical compositions that utilize the poetry of Lawson Fusao Inada [fifth poet laureate of the state of Oregon], and reflect the poet’s (and the composer’s) perceptions of the Japanese Internment Camp experience. Presenter will share thoughts and ideas about working/interacting with the poetry, with short excerpts from several works.

Jeff Morris: Songs and Sandwiches – Student Vocabulary Reveals How Everyday Tools Manipulate Artistic Thought — Sunday, April 25th at 3:30 PM PDT

***Click here to watch presentation***

An opportunity to reflect on how modern culture has significantly limited our default exposure to the world of music’s potential, how music can and does fit into our culture, and how general-purpose [software] tools can shape culture significantly, even if unintentionally. “I tell students: A song isn’t the only kind of music, just like a sandwich isn’t the only kind of food.”

Nicholas Yandell: Composing Trauma — Saturday, May 1st at 3:30 PM PDT

***Click here to watch presentation***

Yandell explores how art can help individuals express, comprehend, and confront trauma, whether as composers, performers, or listeners.

Ben Kapp: Acoustic Ideas and the Development of Musical Structure — Sunday, May 2nd at 3:30 PM PDT

***Click here to watch presentation***

Kapp offers an analysis of his compositional process for the piece Chromatic Limb, written, and rewritten, for various groups of ever changing instrumentation, and ultimately two acoustic guitars… What is of compositional interest in a process such as this? What structures result? Is it music?

There’s no charge to view concerts or presentations, but your donation helps us create events like this.

In This Together

The Halprin Landscape Conservancy and Cascadia Composers present

In This Together

A performance bearing witness to change, protest, revolution and the power of rebirth in the 50th year of the historic Keller Fountain

DATE: Sunday, October 25th, 2020

VENUE: Keller Fountain Park, SW 3rd Ave. & Clay St., Portland OR

TIMES: 2 shows! 12 noon & 1:30 PM (PDT)

This one-hour, socially-distanced concert honors renewal and connection in a time of uncertainty and turbulence. Join us for a celebration of beauty, storytelling, healing and catharsis!

Watch the 1:30PM livestream on the Cascadia Composers Facebook page.

Complete program information just as if you were there and got the print version.

“IN THIS TOGETHER” celebrates the 50th birthday of the world-renowned Keller Fountain, a groundbreaking urban landmark that opened in a time of revolution and sees its half-century pass in another. Narratives of movement and music speak to the power of environment in the self-definition of a city and its people.

The program features acoustic and electroacoustic music by Portland composer/performers Jennifer Wright and Daniel Brugh for piano, handpan drum, fixed media, synthesizers, toy piano, and a few surprises. The movement artistry of special guests Jordie Campbell (aerial artist) and Akela Jaffi (poetry/dance) will invigorate the space!

The concert features the world premieres of two pieces composed specifically in honor of the Keller Fountain’s 50th anniversary: “Wild and Varied Empires Have Inhabited This Place” for solo handpan drum by Jennifer Wright, and “Waterfall” for fixed media and synthesizer by Daniel Brugh.

Wright’s “The Whispered Counsel of Past Lives” for toy piano and music boxes will feature aerial artist Jordie Campbell performing on a freestanding rig arrayed in the fountain.

Portland poet/dancer Akela Jaffi, currently based in Washington D.C., returns to Portland to lend her powerful poetry and choreography to a new adaptation of Wright’s “Never Have I Wished So Hard For Rain: Elegy for Eagle Creek”, originally written in 2017 to commemorate the burning of the Columbia River Gorge.

Daniel Brugh will unveil two new works for fixed media, live synthesizer, and Roli Seaboard: “Grayling Lane” and the adorably-titled “The Angry Magical Bumblebee”.

The grand finale gives the audience a special chance to release any frustrations they might have with the current political situation by actively participating in Wright’s “One Hot Mess” for fixed media, piano and infantile percussion, which reconstructs Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention into an entirely new, fictitious narrative with an appropriately obtuse soundtrack.

Socially distanced / masks required
Admission is free!
Seating is limited; RSVP to reserve your spot at
or wander by for an ambulatory experience.

Additional info available at:

For information on Daniel Brugh, please check out

For information on Jennifer Wright, please check out and

One… Two… Delgani! (streaming concert)

One… Two… Delgani! (streaming concert)

Cascadia Streams presents:  

One… Two… Delgani!  

Jannie Wei and Wyatt True, violins
Kimberlee Uwate, viola
Eric Alterman, cello  

Open up the complete program in another tab or window here! 

Watch and hear a very special collaboration between Cascadia Composers and Eugene’s Delgani String Quartet, available here and on the Cascadia Composers Youtube Channel. The concert is free but a donation of any kind to our group via the Donate button below will be gladly accepted! (If you can’t decide, $10 is suggested.)

Violist Kimberlee Uwate and cellist Eric Alterman play solos and violinists Jannie Wei and Wyatt True present violin duos by Brian Field, Lisa Ann Marsh, Liz Nedela, Stacey Philipps, Greg A Steinke and Christopher M. Wicks. In the past, Delgani has performed as a full quartet in numerous Cascadia Composers concerts but with Covid-19, we get the silver lining circumstance of hearing them in this intimate solo and duo setting. Plus, the stream includes the full group in their 2017 performance of the Presto movement from Tomas Svoboda’s Sixth String Quartet, a little teaser for Delgani’s new season!

Open up the complete program in another tab or window here!

Considered “the state’s finest chamber ensemble” by Oregon Arts Watch, the Delgani String Quartet presents exciting performances of both classic and contemporary repertoire in intimate concert settings. The quartet curates their own subscription series in Portland, Salem, and Eugene while regularly appearing as guest artists throughout the state. Delgani has also performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and at Charles University in Prague.

Although the worldwide pandemic is keeping most live audience events on hold, Cascadia Composers continues to present new music from its members in creative ways to help keep audiences both safe and invigorated by the musical arts. Please check this website regularly for updates on these and other streamed concerts.

Del Sol String Quartet Livestream

Del Sol String Quartet Livestream

Please join us for a FREE concert of new music by four Cascadia Composers: Antonio Celaya, Dawn Sonntag, Paul Safar, and Jeff Winslow. Cello and viola duos and works for violin solo, specifically written for this special event will be performed by members of the terrifically talented and musically adventurous Del Sol String Quartet as part of their ongoing Saturday night presentations during the Covid-19 crisis. This Del Sol / Cascadia Composers co-production was livestreamed from the Bay Area on July 25, 2020 at 6:00PM via facebook here:

Fascinated by the feedback loop between social change, technology, and artistic innovation, the San Francisco-based ensemble is a leading force in 21st century chamber music — whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, taking Aeryn Santillan’s gun-violence memorial to the streets of the Mission District, exploring Andean soundscapes with Gabriela Lena Frank and traditional musicians, or collaborating with Huang Ruo and the anonymous poets who carved their words into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station during the years of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The current Del Sol lineup, marked by the arrival of violinist Sam Weiser alongside mainstays Kathryn Bates and Ben Kreith, and violist Charlton Lee bring a fresh energy, freedom, and precision to the group.

Recognized as a “vigorous champion of living composers”, Del Sol has premiered hundreds of works by composers including Terry Riley, Gabriela Lena Frank, Frederic Rzewski, Ben Johnston, Chinary Ung, Mason Bates, Tania León, Erberk Eryilmaz, Theresa Wong, Reza Vali, Mohammed Fairouz and Peter Sculthorpe.

More information on the ensemble can be found at Twitter: @Delsolquartet and Instagram: @delsolquartet

For information on the composers, please check out:

Although the worldwide pandemic is keeping live audience events on hold, Cascadia Composers continues to present new music from its members via livestreaming. Please check this website regularly for updates on these and other livestreamed concerts and monthly Monday member presentations via zoom.

2020 OMTA Composer of the Year — Nicholas Yandell

2020 OMTA Composer of the Year — Nicholas Yandell

Enjoy this video of Nicholas Yandell presenting his visual art, poem, and musical piece A Quiet Place in the Rain, commissioned by the Oregon Music Teachers Association honoring Nicholas as their Composer of the Year 2020. 

Nicholas has this to say about A Quiet Place in the Rain
“The title of this piece is based on the idea of an unconventional refuge. This is a confrontational place that is cold, damp, and unpleasant, where one purposely goes to face their buried fears and anxieties. In this work, the listener goes to such a place, away from the comforts of their life, plunging themselves into the darkness, and through exposure and catharsis, finds redemption on the other side.” 

Seasoned new music performers Hannah Hillebrand on cello and Kate Petak on harp performed the musical piece showcased here at Temple Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. For information on Hannah, please visit For information on Kate, please visit

Portland based composer Nicholas Yandell’s music is often narratively driven and intends to both “immerse the listener in a vivid sonic realm and also take them on an enlightening emotional journey.” In addition to commissions from 45th Parallel and performances by the Delgani String Quartet, Nick has his own freelance sound and film score business: Basement Music, with composer Tristan Bliss. For more information on Nicholas, please visit

In Good Hands 2021

In Good Hands 2020 Concert (virtual concert)

Cascadia Streams presents: The 10th annual In Good Hands Concert featuring student performers playing Cascadia Composers works! Tune in for the concert video of one of Cascadia Composers' favorite yearly traditions, the In Good Hands recital. Talented...

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New Music Gathering 2020

New Music Gathering 2020

Watch our one-hour concert video, which was Cascadia Composers' part of New Music Gathering, an annual conference dedicated to the performance, production, promotion, support and creation of new concert music! See and hear works by Christina Rusnak, Jay...

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Forward With Cascadia!

We at Cascadia Composers hope you are all staying healthy and coping with the extraordinary circumstances of these days. If any of you or yours do happen to catch the pandemic bug, we wish you and them a mild case and a quick recovery. Everyone here is...

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HAIR, REED, HAMMER: The articulation of sound

HAIR, REED, HAMMER: The articulation of sound

Northwest composers Paul Safar and Daniel Heila present, in an intimate venue, saxophone, string, and piano works sure to charm, challenge, and inspire listeners. Featured performers include the Delgani String Quartet, Eugene pianist Matthew Pavilanis and vocalist...

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CONCERT MOSAIC – New Music and Art by Northwest Women

Concert Mosaic, presented by Cascadia Composers, is a bold, inspired, and multi-faceted program of chamber music premieres and visual art displays by Northwest women composers and artists. Featured performers include the Delgani String Quartet, along with special...

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Choral Arts Ensemble Performs Cascadia Seasonal Works

Choral Arts Ensemble Performs Cascadia Seasonal Works

Come hear Cascadia help "Portland's Choir" celebrate the season with three works by Cascadia composers: John Hidalgo's Lux Aeterna, Robert Lockwood's Ave Maria, and Dawn Sonntag's I Heard the Bells. The theme of the Yuletide concerts is "And on Earth, Peace," and...

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Concert Celebrating Tomas Svoboda’s 80th Birthday!

Concert Celebrating Tomas Svoboda’s 80th Birthday!

Oregon boasts maybe a handful of composers who are well-known in the world of contemporary musical art.  One is particularly known internationally, and that is Tomáš Svoboda.  Born in Paris to Czech parents, he lived on both sides of the Iron Curtain before finding...

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