Archive for the ‘MCP Happenings’ Category

Melegari musicians perform in “From Oregon, With Love” concert to benefit Mercy Corps’ Japan Relief Fund

Monday, April 4th, 2011

On Sunday, March 27, 2011, over 150 artists from Portland, Oregon came together for a very special event, “From Oregon, With Love: A Benefit for Mercy Corps Japan Relief Fund.”  Melegari’s founder, Paloma Griffin, and manager, Kirsten Hisatomi Norvell had the tremendous honor of performing with local ensembles Fear No Music and Pink Martini.  The event raised over $250,000 for the people of Japan! We are so proud and thankful to be a part of this region’s great community of artists and musicians.

See Oregonian article here:



Paloma with Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale and Sho Dozono

Kirsten chills backstage with 3 Leg Torso's Mike Murphy and Oregon Ballet Theater Principal Dancer, Anne Muelle


Melegari performs for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s 3rd Inauguration

Friday, January 28th, 2011

On January 10, 2011, the Melegari Chamber Players String Quartet had the honor of being performing for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s 3rd Inauguration!  The event was held in the House Chambers of the State Capitol in Salem.  The quartet played as members of the House, Senate, former Governors, and finally, Governor Kitzhaber himself processed.  Also performing was the Youth Choir of Central Oregon, who sang beautifully.

We would like to extend a warm “thank you” to the whole Kitzhaber team, especially Barbara Allen, and Linda Magee at Chamber Music Northwest for thinking of us for this amazing event.  We were beyond excited to be there and witness history.  And we love that Governor Kitz wore jeans!

Look closely at the picture below to see the Governor being sworn in.

Northwest Neighborhood House benefit at the Duck Ridge Farms Estate

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Last week, after a long string of beautiful weddings, we were thrilled to perform at a garden party benefiting the Northwest Neighborhood House. The event was held at the stunning Duck Ridge Farms Estate, a sprawling 85-acre estate gardens in the West Hills of Portland.  The Estate is listed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archive of American Gardens!  I have not seen anything quite like it in Portland.   Donors and guests experienced a lovely evening of delicious food prepared by Chef David Barber of  Hillsdale’s Three Square Grill.

Vancouver Symphony Concertmaster (and MCP Violinist and Librarian!) Eva Richey and I played violin duets for a couple of hours. Everyone was so nice!  All the NH employees (special thanks to Tia!) doted on us and made sure we were comfortable and well taken care of!   We were enchanted by the gardens, and by the lovely donors who came by to tell us stories of their own musical upbringing and experience.  We got to meet a lot of really amazing people, have great conversation, and sample some incredible local food and wine.

But the Star of the night was the ever-amazing Neighborhood House! Their broad array of programs help families succeed by reducing hunger and homelessness.  NH supports more than 12,000 low-income and other vulnerable children, families, and seniors through innovative programs, such as Headstart and Early Headstart, Senior Centers, Rental/Energy Assistance, Parenting Programs, Mentoring program: SUN Schools, CASASTART, and transitional housing assistance.

Carlton Cellars Wine Dinner

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

On a lovely summer evening, Ines and Paloma got to perform and attend a wine dinner in the middle of the vineyard at Carlton Cellars in the gorgeous Willamette Valley. The beautiful lights hanging from the trees were handmade by Lam, Kestrel at Hiih Handmade Lights in Portland. The event was organized by the amazing Leo and Anna Daedalus of Helsinqi.

Ines and Paloma, Carlton Cellars Wine Dinner

Rudy Lopez, Big Red Studios session

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Last week MCP had the pleasure of recording the string parts for a new album by Latin Pop singer, Rudy Lopez. It was so much fun to play at producer Billy Oskay’s beautiful space, Big Red Studios in Corbett, OR.

Our musicians for this session also play with the Oregon Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, and the Portland Opera Orchestra.

Pictured L to R: Nelly Kovalev, Keiko Araki, Shin Young Kwon, Marilyn De Oliveira, Dieter Ratzlaf, Julie Coleman, Paloma Griffin, Gregory Ewer, Rudy Lopez

Left: Violists Leah Ilem & Jen Arnold; Right: Violinist Shin-Young Kwon

MCP’s new Manager (and bride-to-be), Kirsten Hisatomi!

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

In February, after receiving the 2010 “Bride’s Choice” award from Martha Stewart Weddings and Wedding Wire, Inc., we could not believe the huge number of inquiries we received. We heard not just from couples not just in the Pacific Northwest, but from New York, Florida, and California. We are honored to receive such an award, and feel lucky to know and be able to engage so many musicians all over the United States for weddings and similar events.

To be honest, I was also slightly overwhelmed! I have been running the both the business and the creative sides of Melegari alone since 2006. As I also have a fairly heavy performing schedule outside of MCP, the large influx of inquiries felt like too much to handle by myself. This led me to bring on a colleague and friend to help, the amazing Kirsten Hisatomi. Kirsten is a freelance violinist and violin teacher, and has also been the Personnel Manager of the Vancouver Symphony. “I loved that job, because not only did I get to meet so many other musicians who shared my passion for music, I also got the opportunity to see an arts organization from the management’s side. I learned all the various aspects of putting on concerts, lining up jobs and events for ensembles to play with, scheduling and producing, etc..”

Last fall, Kirsten got engaged! Kirsten and Joe met over 20 years ago when she was 18, and they were both managers at a Zupans Market. They drifted apart for nearly 20 years when Kirsten went away to school,  but reconnected last year – on facebook! One thing lead to another, and they are getting married in June. Congratulations, you guys!

Kirsten and Joe

As a violinist herself, Kirsten understands how musicians think and operate when it comes to performing at various events, especially weddings. As a bride-to-be, she is finding it interesting to experience first-hand what people go through in the process of hiring musicians and choosing the music for their wedding ceremony. She is feeling lucky that her best friends in the world are musicians! “It is really giving me perspective to be planning my wedding and to be on the other side of things. I can relate better to our clients. I want to give them as smooth of an experience as I want mine to be with all of my vendors.”

Welcome, Kirsten!


Merry, Marry Me- Melegari receives the 2010 Bride’s Choice Award from MSW and Wedding Wire!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Ok, today’s events warrant my first ever blog entry!

Here’s the press release:

Portland, OR – {January 19, 2010} – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, just announced Melegari Chamber Players has been selected to receive the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™ for Ceremony Music!

The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds.

Melegari  Chamber Players is among the top five percent of all vendors in the WeddingWire and Martha Stewart Weddings, Inc. community, which includes over 100,000 wedding professionals across the US and Canada. Awards were given to winners across 19 different service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers.

“We are excited to recognize and honor the success of the top wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program has given us the unique opportunity to highlight the best wedding professionals in each region as reviewed by brides and grooms who have utilized their services in the past year. We are happy to announce that Melegari Chamber Players is among the very best within the WeddingWire Network, which includes WeddingWire and Martha Stewart Weddings.”

So- big day! We would like to thank our past newlyweds for nominating us for the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards! We are so flattered.


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