It's What Feelings Sound Like

Welcome to Columbia River Symphony


Spring Season Play-Along 2021

CRS Play-Along Week #1

Good evening, CRS musicians/supporters. Here is the first part of what I am hoping many will take part in with the CRS Play-Along series. My time in the evenings are very short, so I will keep these introductions brief.  Music for current members has been sent out to you in our CRS Email.  If you are wishing to become a member of CRS, please message me and I will add you to our email list, and send you the link to the sheet music (  This week there is also a link for a rhythmic component that will test your rhythmic/pulse determination with a metronome!

YouTube Conducting Videos:

Clash -- Measures 1-33:

On Top of the World -- Measures 1-51:

  • April 5th, 2021 = “Clash,” & “Top of the World,” Conducting Videos #1 and supplemental materials (related exercises/theory/techniques to assist with the pieces being worked on) will be sent to you via CRS email and our CRS Facebook/CRS Webpage.

*** Clash -- measures: 1-33. The eighth note pattern is crucial to keep the driving rhythms, pounding percussion, and persistent eighth note pulse moving. Being able to retain this rhythmic intensity will create a sense of urgency that will drive the listener from one section to the next. Even if you do not have the eighth note pulse in your individual part, it is always beneficial to the entire ensemble to feel that drive and to support that beat uniformity. I have included a link to a pdf eighth note rhythmic practice sheet (it is Exercise #6). It’s not terribly difficult, but I encourage you to test it out, and use a metronome and strive for perfection.  Here is the link:

Use a metronome! Start with the suggested metronome marking, and increase it as you gain more success and confidence with the rhythms. Your goal is to be extremely precise. Don’t just get it “close,”...get if perfectly right. Hold yourself to this expectation. Try for three (3) times in a row with playing it perfectly correct. Perfect practice makes these components perfect. If you need to, write in the counting for the rhythms. For example, where are the counts 1, 2, 3, and 4 located? Can you identify the subdivided parts of the beats, and where is the syncopation located, if there is any? Practice counting and clapping the rhythms as well. All of this can be translated over to your parts within the sheet music that you play.

*** On Top of the World -- measures 1-51. As with “Clash,” it is imperative that you work this opening section slower than what is written. String players in particular, this is very important in order to learn the style and effect needed for the short rhythmic fragments that begin the piece. Rehearse very slowly, and be very exact with the pitches. Check accuracy with the pitches. As with the rhythms and metronome markings in the piece Clash, “close” is not what should be achieved. Attention to details, the sounds of the notes, the articulation, shape and overall musicality of the notes are just a sample of the package here. This is a very upbeat and fanfare/flashy piece, but the small details will help to excel this feeling, when performed up to tempo. On Wednesday, I will provide some more insights to the first 51 measures, but until then...please take some time to listen to the piece and become more comfortable with the piece, and how your part lies within the first 51 measures. This is a fun piece to learn, play and experience! Think about how much fun it will be to play with all in the same space at some point!

Take care all, and if there are any questions, please, please ask away!

Happy playing!

Cory Pederson

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!

(503) 836-2198

Columbia River Symphony

P.O. Box 122

Astoria, OR 97103

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