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Oregon Trail Trio honors Beaver State’s history in song

Band sings, plays instruments, tells story at free Feb. 24 concert at Tolovana Hall

Published on February 22, 2018 12:15AM

The Oregon Trail Trio, from left: Phil Neuman, Gayle Neuman and Mick Doherty

Courtesy Tolovana Arts Colony

The Oregon Trail Trio, from left: Phil Neuman, Gayle Neuman and Mick Doherty


CANNON BEACH — The Oregon Trail Trio celebrates the Beaver State’s storied history in song 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Tolovana Hall in Cannon Beach.

This free concert is designed for families with grade-school-aged children and learners of all ages.

Besides bringing that wild, dusty history to life, the Trail Trio’s appeal is also rooted in the present.

“An intimate, engaging live performance is where kids experience the wonder of music,” Trio member Mick Doherty said.

While hearing music performed live in the days of the Oregon Trail was a given, today it’s not always the case.

“In the digital age I think it’s very important for kids to hear what wind- and muscle-driven music sounds like,” Doherty said.

Besides playing, singing and telling stories, the Trail Trio demonstrate the workings of their instruments, including guitar, fiddle, hammer dulcimer and tuba. (Believe it or not, the tuba was a staple of music on the Trail.)

The Trio, an offshoot of the Oregon Trail Band, perform traditional tunes one might have heard on the long journey west, as well as original songs recounting the settlement of Oregon.

One of the traditional pieces in the Trio’s repertoire was discovered in a piano bench in a historic house in Oregon City by group members Gayle and Phil Neuman.

The Neumans are musicologists and educators who specialize in ancient, medieval and Renaissance-era styles and perform with the Oregon Renaissance Band. Gayle primarily plays fiddle. Phil plays the wind and string instruments, and a relative of the tuba called the “serpent.”

Showgoers may recognize Doherty from a number of groups performing regularly on the coast, including the Cascadia Folk Quartet and Oregon Shadow Theater, a live shadow puppetry company.

The event is produced by the Tolovana Arts Colony. Tolovana Hall is located at 3779 South Hemlock St.

For more information, visit tolovanaartscolony.org, email tolovanaartscolony@gmail.com or call 541-215-4445.



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