By Randi Bjornstad

In case you have never heard of the Eugene Springfield Community Orchestra — which will give a free afternoon concert on Sunday, June 2, 2024, at the Springfield High School Auditorium — here’s a chance to hear about it and from it.

Here’s what the ESCO says about itself, on its website at

The Eugene Springfield Community Orchestra is one of the longest-lived orchestras in Lane County. Since the early 1960s, it has given local amateur musicians an opportunity to learn and perform. The group rehearses weekly between September and May, and gives three performances per year.

In its long history, the orchestra has performed under the baton of a succession of talented and enthusiastic conductors — local music educators — including Don Loftus, William Tweedy, Ray Morse, Philip Bayles, Chet Peterson, Richard Long, Jonathan Bridges and, now, Tyler Boorman. During Peterson’s 16-year tenure, the group grew from fewer than 30 members to its current size of 70. He was responsible for welcoming a variety of professional soloists to perform concertos with the orchestra. These included violinists, cellists, clarinetists, and pianists. He also encouraged orchestra members to solo in concerto performances.

The orchestra occasionally performs concertos with professional soloists including, most recently, Yvonne Hsueh and the Delgani Quartet.

(The Eugene Springfield Community Orchestra took two years off due to Covid restrictions and resumed in the spring of 2022.)

Eugene Springfield Community Concert

Renowned Black American composer Florence Price (1887-1953)

What: The program for the June 2 concert includes three works, including Aaron Copland’s classic composition, John Henry, about the American folk legend John Henry, a 19th-century Black man and his heroic battle in a contest against a railroad pile-driver. Also on the program is The Oak, part of a larger work, Songs of the Oak, by Black classical composer, pianist, organist and music educator Florence Price, plus William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, Afro-American.

When: 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, 2024

Where: Springfield High School Auditorium, 875 Seventh St., Springfield

Cost: FREE or by donation; tax-deductible contributions appreciated at