Community Music Programs

Community Ensembles

Art Center East’s community ensemble programs provide high quality, community-based music instruction and performance opportunities through a long-standing partnership with Eastern Oregon University’s Music Department. Our community ensembles are designed to meet the unique needs of the communities by offering arts learning opportunities for children aged 7 – 18, area high-school and college students, as well as community members from the tri-county area (Union, Wallowa, and Baker). Our community ensembles perform at least three free concerts per year per group, with the exception of the Union County Children’s Choir (Fall & Winter) and the Community African Drumming group, at McKenzie Theater on the campus of Eastern Oregon University. In addition, our art center hosts traditional music & dance programs on a monthly basis. These programs are presented by Traditional Live! AKA NE Oregon Folklore Society.

Grande Ronde Community Choir

Age 14+

Community Ensembles


The Grande Ronde Community Choir is a 50-65 voice mixed choral ensemble comprised of community members, EOU students, staff, faculty, and high school students. The choir rehearses and performs a wide variety of choral literature ranging from major works with orchestra to spirituals and musical theatre repertoire. Three or more concerts are scheduled each year. Annual performances include the Choirs of the Valley Concert, the Holiday Music Festival, March Choral Concert and periodic concerts presented in conjunction with the EOU Chamber Choir, Oregon Chorale, and the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra. No audition required.


Choral Director: Michael Frasier

Accompanist: Lanetta Paul

Location: Loso Hall Rm 123 on Eastern Oregon University campus in La Grande

On break due to COVID-19

Union County Children’s Choir

2nd – 6th grade

Community Ensembles

The Union County Children’s Choir was established in 1996 with the goal of providing quality musical instruction for elementary school students and is sponsored by Art Center East and Eastern Oregon University. Local support is provided by the Soroptimists International of La Grande and Red Cross Drugs.

Update: The Union County Children's Choir is on hiatus due to low enrollment. We are currently working on revamping the program. If you are interested in finding out more about children's music opportunities in La Grande or would like to contribute to rebuilding our program, please submit your email address below and we will be in touch!

Community African Drumming

Age 12+

Community Ensembles

drumming west africanThe Community African Drumming is made up of students and community members dedicated to the traditional music of Western Africa. The group came into existence 15 years ago, and has performed numerous concerts around the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle Rhythm Festival. All skill levels welcome. Grab a friend and enjoy the rhythms and community building that drumming has to offer.

Instructor: Luke McKern

Cost: $45 Member / $55 Non-Member

Location: Loso Hall Rm 123, EOU campus

On break due to COVID-19

Country Dance Fiddle Orchestra

Age 8+

Community Ensembles

country dance fiddleEnjoy playing your bowed, plucked or wind instrument while you expand your individual and ensemble skills in this fun and education musical group.  The Country Dance Fiddle Orchestra is open to musicians of all skill levels, 8 years old and up, who play a repertoire of traditional and contemporary fiddle tunes from a wide variety of folk-based musical traditions. Under the guidance of our experienced leader, members are encouraged to grow their skills at sight reading and playing by ear. Please enter through the Penn Avenue door.

Dates: 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 6 pm

Instructor: Carla Arnold

Cost: $5 Donation

Location: Live via Zoom due to Covid-19. Contact Carla Arnold for a link: 541-786-4535.

Open Community Contra Dance

All Ages

Community Ensembles

Contra dancing is an American folk original, older than our country, but up-to-date as tomorrow – a true living tradition! You and a partner interact with everyone else in the hall, dancing a repeating pattern to energetic music, sometimes walking, sometimes spinning. This exhilarating dance style accommodates all experience levels, from the newbie to the enthusiast. No experience necessary, drop-ins welcome. Comfortable clothes and low heeled shoes recommended. Please enter through the Penn Ave door.

Dates: 1st Tuesday of the month at 7 pm

Instructor: Mark Lewis

Cost: $5 Donation

LocationArt Center East

On break due to COVID-19

Community English Country Dance

Age 7+

Community Ensembles

Ranging from graceful and flowing to vigorously energetic, English Country dancing is easy to learn and easy on the body. Nearly forgotten after several centuries of being at the center of European social life, the fluid movements of this dance style have fascinated current-day dancers and inspired a wealth of modern compositions. No experience necessary, drop-ins welcome. Comfortable clothes and low heeled shoes recommended. Please enter through the Penn Ave door.

Dates: 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7 pm

Instructors: Mark & Dianne Lewis

Cost: $5 Donation

Location: Art Center East

On break due to COVID-19

Community Ensembles

Art Center East Community Music Program Sponsored in Part by: