Concert to take donations for Carnegie Hall trip
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Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
Vicki Helwick, standing, and Anna Nichols will present “An Evening of New York Songs” this Friday. The concert, a benefit for the Port Angeles High School Roughrider Orchestra’s trip to Carnegie Hall, will take place at the First Presbyterian Church in Port Angeles.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Vicki Helwick did not want any of Port Angeles High School's Roughrider Orchestra musicians to miss out on a long-hoped for trip.

This trip looks to be beyond thrilling: New York City for five days of sightseeing and a performance, with the orchestra, at Carnegie Hall.

Costly, yes. More than 100 Roughriders, along with longtime music director Ron Jones, have been busy raising the $2,500 per student for this spring adventure, to have its Carnegie Hall crescendo on Easter Sunday, March 31.

Helwick's two teens, Michael the bassist and Elizabeth the violist, have been hoping for years to be part of the New York experience.

Jones has been taking his orchestra to play at Carnegie Hall every four years since 1989.

Michael is a sophomore and Elizabeth a senior this year; both play in the orchestra, and this year is their one chance to go with their fellow musicians to New York City.

So their mother, a vocalist who performs with the Peninsula Singers and other ensembles, is stepping out there to give a concert Friday night.

New York songs

“An Evening of New York Songs,” starring Helwick and pianist Anna Nichols, will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church, 139 W. Eighth St.

Admission is free to this event cosponsored by Readers Theatre Plus, the nonprofit group whose mission is to support the local arts scene.

And while there is no cost for this musical visit to the Big Apple, donations toward the Carnegie Hall trip will be welcome.

More than welcome, that is. Contributions will make it possible for Port Angeles High School's orchestral musicians to have the experience of playing in one of America's great temples of art.

The evening will be an elegant one — and fun, Helwick promised.

On the menu are songs from the movies, the stage and the popular songbook, such as “Lullaby of Broadway,” “American Tune,” “Chelsea Morning,” “Broadway Rhythm” and “New York, New York,” among many others.

The show will run about 90 minutes, with an intermission and refreshments, Helwick said.

Paul Martin appearance?

Paul Martin, a Readers Theatre Plus board member, added that Jones himself, a bassist and guitarist, has hinted that he will make an appearance.

“Rumor has it he will accompany Vicki instrumentally on a few songs,” Martin said.

“Vicki has an amazing voice,” said Michele Haworth, a member of Orchestra Parents United for Students, or OPUS, the booster group behind the Roughriders.

“These are songs people have heard all of their lives. It will be a wonderful evening,” she added.

Those who can't make it to this Friday's concert can still donate to the Carnegie Hall cause: Haworth is accepting contributions and can be reached at 360-452-5914.


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

Last modified: January 23. 2013 5:44PM
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