It's What Feelings Sound Like

Welcome to Columbia River Symphony


Spring Season Play-Along 2021

summer regatta performance at AHS 8.11.1

Check out our "Play-Along Series" Tab at the top of the page to visit each week of the series.  Happy Practicing!!!

May 17th, 2021 -- WEEK #7 CRS Play-Along Week #7


Hello, CRS musicians/supporters.  CRS Play-Along week #7 is here, and if you’ve been following us through the previous six weeks, and have been working hard, you undoubtedly have a good handle on these pieces.  This week we return to “Clash,” and ‘On Top of the World.”  We will be wrapping up “Clash” in about two weeks, and bringing to you a new piece, while “On Top of the World” begins to wrap up.  Please remember, that although “Dusk” is completed for the “Play-Along” series, to keep practicing this selection, and utilize the Play-Along series videos if you wish.  Each week’s videos, information and materials can be found on our website at, and look inside the “Play-Along Series” tab to find all of the information.  


This week’s main focus will be on identifying and controlling your dynamics.  If I were to say, play a passage at a Forte level...what would be your first thought?  For some, it may simply mean to play loud or at a sudden forced volume, and for others they immediately think about the environment that they are in.  A forte can mean something different to each musician.  However...think about the following when looking at volume when playing in an ensemble:  How many musicians are in the ensemble? How many instruments are within each section? Each part? What is the strength of the instrument, and/or the individual playing it? Is the musician playing the melody, countermelody, harmony, and what is the music doing at the moment?  What kind of balance are we listening for?  Now think about the room you are playing in.  What kind of acoustics are you hearing?  Is the room very lively (or too lively), or is it quite stiff and deadening to the point that you can basically only hear yourself play?  I believe most of us have had these experiences, and these factors alone can play havoc with the required dynamics of an ensemble.  Dynamics are relative to a number of factors.  When in different settings, take a moment to analyze your surroundings and listen to the ensemble as you warm up, and begin asking yourself some of the guiding questions above.  


Below, I am posting a few videos/articles on sound and dynamics for most instruments.  If you have a moment, please take some time to take a look/listen and incorporate some of these concepts into your practice session, and see where it may take you.  I often say to my students that when you risk failure, you only end up discovering new things, and that is how we continue to grow.  Enjoy working through these pieces.  Make many and grow, and continue pushing yourself forward in the world of music.  After all, music is really a lifelong experience that continues to grow inside of each and every one of us.  It heals us, it bonds us, and it’s a true universal language that reaches every soul.       


Take care, all, and have a great rest of your week!

Cory Pederson  


YouTube Videos:

On Top of the World -- Measures 119-163:


Clash -- Measures 60-100:


Supplemental Material

Flute Article:

Flute Video:

Oboe Article: 

Oboe Video:

Bassoon Article:

Bassoon Video:

Clarinet Article: 

Clarinet Article:

Woodwind Dynamics/Sound Article:

Saxophone Article:

Saxophone Video:

Trumpet Article & Video:

Trumpet Video:

French Horn Article (Soft Dynamics):

French Horn Article (Loud Dynamics):

French Horn Article & Video:

Trombone Article:

Trombone Video:

Euphonium/Tuba Article:

Euphonium/Tuba Video:

Percussion Article:

Percussion Video: (For Percussion, there are so many videos to look at for advice.  It’s best to look up videos for the specific percussive equipment that you are looking to play...although most are played in a similar fashion. 

String Article (There is lots of information about this out this is just touching the surface, with even more details for specific string instruments):

String Video (Violin & Viola):


(Double Bass):

Relive the joy

Of Our 

CRS Community Holiday Concert!

CRS has just released their second version of the virtual performance of "An Ode to Joy Festival." Please enjoy!

—Thank you, Mr. Jon Rausch


Here is our December Holiday Concert. 

Click on the PDF

to check out our

virtual program for our concert.

CRS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Hello CRS musicians and supporters.

We are always looking for new musicians.  Please contact us at if you are interested in joining.  

We are in need of string players (violin, viola, cello and double bass), as well as clarinet,  bassoon, & low brass (trombone, euphonium, tuba).

We are accepting other positions as well, so please contact us about joining.  Thank you!