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Collin Heade-Artistic Director/Conductor

Collin Heade embarks on celebrating his 11th season as artistic director/conductor of the Westside Community & Youth Orchestra in Hillsboro, Or., and his 10th season as conductor of the Junior Symphony of Vancouver, Wa.


As a conductor, he has attended workshops with the Virginia, Baltimore and Norwalk Symphonies.


During the past several Covid-19 months, as an avid composer he has begun working up second versions of his earlier pieces beginning from 2015, and is slowly working thru them in chronological order. These second versions are denoted thru his Compositions web page with the initials v.2. All his compositional endeavors can be viewed from his web site at


He has been selected as a finalist in The American Prize, which celebrates American excellence in the performing arts, in three fields: orchestral programming; choral composition, for his piece “An Abandoned Lighthouse,” a fantasy for orchestra and choir; and a work for string orchestra, “Expressions,” in three movements. Very recently, in November 2022, Collin has has become a finalist again in two additional pieces for the American Prize: in the orchestral composers field, for his piece “The Story of the Songbird & the Elephant,” a double concerto for piccolo, tuba and orchestra, with narration; and an instrumental chamber music category, for his piece “Reminiscences,” four short fantasies for recorder orchestra.

For over the past year, Collin embarked on investigating and researching differentiating brands and price comparisons of all the percussion instruments of the orchestra for WCYO, which won a much needed grant earmarked for these instruments. He took several months analyzing the best possible manufactures for each, in quality and price, scrutinizing the best possible sonic qualities in seeking long-term aspects for the orchestra, right down to the beaters, without a future need to trade up. He also learned how to approach each instrument regarding tuning procedures. He even helped one company find better solutions for overseas shipping and learned much in dealing with truck lines for larger instruments. Approximately 54 items of hardware and instruments ordered, and he also placed a package together with carts and totes of varying sizes for easiest transport between the rehearsal hall and stage.


As a cellist, Collin has performed as principal with the Oregon Chamber Players, and the Oregon Arts Orchestra, with whom he has made three European tours.


He has concentrated on cello instruction all his professional life and teaches at his home studio in southeast Portland as well as the Valley Catholic Music School in Beaverton. 


During the Covid-19 pandemic he is exclusively teaching cello and conducting via the internet and enjoys demonstrating with his students areas where more enlightened efforts may be needed. 


Over these last several months, in striving to maintain a connection with orchestral members, Collin has written an assortment of theoretical Letters to the Orchestra. These were sent out to members during the pandemic, in an attempt to simplify an assortment of music theory related topics. In part he accomplished these by incorporating visual software by Dorico to portray examples. These were both exhilarating and fun in portraying; similar to writing short excerpts of explanatory notes, yet in a way which would be fun for the reviewer toward the  understanding of certain musical topics. 


Collin’s principal teachers have included Tomas Svoboda, composition; John Trudeau, orchestral conducting; David Wilson, choral conducting. He had the honor of being Hamiliton Chiefetz’s very first cello student in the Portland area, and received instruction from cellist Dorien de Léon as well.


He enjoys his home life immensely with spouse, Cameretta. His daughter, Julie, is a Sr. Manager, Reputation Programs, Corporate Affairs, for Banfield Pet Hospital headquarters in Vancouver, WA.


Please visit his web site for more information.

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Mark Iven-Concertmaster

As the most skilled and knowledgeable violinist of the orchestra the concertmaster is chief intermediary between the musicians and the conductor. The concertmaster is responsible for the violin section, playing solo passages in the absence of a guest soloist, understanding the conductor's ideas and communicating them in technical terms to the rest of the orchestra.  He also  leads the orchestra in tuning before rehearsals and performances.  He assists with aspects of the orchestra's management. He supervises the set-up and take down of chairs and equipment for rehearsals and performances.   Iven has been with the orchestra since its beginning and represents the string sections on the board.

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