The Inland Northwest Musicians chorale performed a free classical concert, complete with a string quartet and harpsichordist, for a welcoming audience Saturday at the Canyon City Community Hall.

Conductor R. Lee Friese led the chorale as they sang Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and Randall Thompson’s “Peaceable Kingdom.”

About 60 people attended the presentation, including Kris Beal, president of Juniper Arts Council.

“I’m tickled,” Beal said. “The caliber is outstanding, and the music is wonderful.”

Representatives of Inland Northwest referred to Beal as their ambassador for Grant County. The group has previously performed in Canyon City and John Day, collaborating with the nonprofit Juniper Arts Council.

“I’m proud of the presentation today,” Friese said during the dessert reception. “The audience was appreciative.”

He described both pieces as “opulent” and said they’ve given well over 500 performances in the past 20 years.

Inland Northwest Musicians are based in Hermiston and have chorale and orchestra members from Hermiston, Pendleton and several surrounding cities who volunteer their time.

There were 26 singers performing on Saturday with three violinists, a cellist and Myrna Van Cleave on the harpsichord.

Salli Ketchersid, a soprano and Inland Northwest’s publicist, said the group gathers because they love to sing.

“We like to get together,” said soprano and program manager RaNiel Dunn. “It’s not just a group. It’s kind of a family because everyone has to sacrifice.”

Two local audience members commented on the concert.

Nancy Nickel called the performance “glorious.”

“I had no idea that Vivaldi wrote choral music,” she said. “It was a welcome surprise.”

David Seacord said the experience was a “very appreciated bit of culture.”

“It was impressive that the choir included a 92-year-old man and an authentic musicality, including a harpsichord from the period.”

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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