FOUNDATION AND CORE VALUES:
Inland Northwest Musicians was founded in 1999 by a group of instrumentalists and vocalists interested in forming a classical music organization that reflected certain core values. Inland Northwest Musicians was built around these cornerstone beliefs:
A regional arts organization should truly represent and serve the region, be “owned” by and accountable to its membership.
All constituents are valued – musicians, audience members, staff, volunteers and financial contributors.
Inland Northwest Musicians abides by these core values. It is what makes us unique from any other program.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO:
We are in our 15th year of successful operation. Inland Northwest Musicians ensembles have performed over 300 concerts in more than 40 different communities in Eastern Oregon and Southeast Washington. We ARE the only truly regional classical music organization in the Pacific Northwest.
Inland Northwest Musicians operates five different performing ensembles:
Inland Northwest Orchestra – a full symphony orchestra of approximately 50 members, with rehearsals held in Pendleton.
Inland Northwest Chorale – a symphonic chorale group comprised of approximately 40 singers, with rehearsals held in Pendleton.
Willow Creek Symphony – our west-oriented youth/preparatory orchestra comprised of approximately 30 members, currently rehearsing in Irrigon.
Wallowa Valley Orchestra – our east-oriented youth/preparatory orchestra comprised of approximately 30 members with rehearsals held in Enterprise.
Less experienced musicians of all ages (including adults) are welcome to participate in these last two ensembles.
Most musicians performing in the various Inland Northwest Musicians ensembles are volunteers. They donate their time and talent to participate. Many drive long distances to attend rehearsals and concerts. Musicians are drawn to each of our ensembles from throughout our vast service area.
R. Lee Friese serves as Music Director and Conductor for all 4 ensembles. He has a Master’s degree in both choral and instrumental conducting from Bowling Green University in Ohio. He has over 30 years experience in conducting and in music education. He served as Associate Conductor with the Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth, Texas, Music Director and Conductor for the Walla Walla Symphony, and was Founding Conductor and Music Director of the Oregon East Symphony. Mr. Friese was one of the core founders of Inland Northwest Musicians in 1999.
Inland Northwest Musicians strongly desires to develop, maintain and support school music programs. We understand the precarious nature of music education in this era of tight school budgets. We desire to partner with local schools and districts to enhance opportunities for nurturing young musicians. We enjoy featuring local school music ensembles on Inland Northwest Musicians concerts. We also nurture young musicians through our “Dinner Music” mentoring program, and we offer free Young People’s
Concerts each year to fourth and fifth graders from throughout the region. Our annual Young Artist’s Competition draws competitors from throughout the Pacific Northwest.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT:
Governance is accomplished through a Board of Directors, including representativesfrom the nine geographic zones of our nine-county service area. Board meetings are held quarterly.
Inland Northwest Musicians is “owned by its membership”. An annual membership meeting is held each June, and all performing members, staff and individuals holding sustaining memberships are eligible to vote on issues at that meeting.