Spotlight image for Thursdays @ Three: Portland Youth Philharmonic & Titus Underwood

PYP with Nolan Tu & Titus Underwood

November 9, 2023: Host Christa Wessel welcomes the Portland Youth Philharmonic and oboist Titus Underwood to the Roger O. Doyle performance studio.

High School Senior and pianist Nolan Tu will perform with PYP and Musical Director David Hattner, sharing a preview of the orchestra’s upcoming 100th anniversary concert.

Oboist Titus Underwood will be joined by pianist Maria Garcia in works by William Grant Still, Florence Price, and more. They will perform highlights from Titus’s upcoming performances with the Portland Columbia Symphony.

Stream this episode featuring PYP and oboist Titus Underwood until November 23, 2023.


High School Senior and pianist Nolan Tu recently won the 2023 Portland Piano International (PPI) Concerto Competition with his dazzling performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2. He will play the entire concerto with the Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at the opening concert of their centennial season on November 11, 2023, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. All Classical Radio is proud to be the Official Media Sponsor for this concert. Learn more.

In 1924, a group of visionary citizens established the Portland Junior Symphony Association (later renamed the Portland Youth Philharmonic Association or PYP for short). Building on the pioneering work of Mary V. Dodge, whose Irvington School Orchestra was the nucleus of the first Junior Symphony, the Association engaged Russian émigré Jacques Gershkovitch as conductor. PYP is the oldest youth orchestra in the United States. The structure and standards that it established for training young musicians in the 1920s became the prototype for youth orchestras across the country. Learn more at

Titus Underwood is Principal Oboe of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the 2021 recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence award and a 2021 Midsouth Regional Emmy® winner for his work on « We Are Nashville ». Prior to the NSO, he was Acting Associate Principal of Utah Symphony, and has performed as guest principal of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra, and Florida Orchestra. A sought-after freelance performer, Titus has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. Titus regularly plays principal oboe in Chineke!, the Gateways Music Festival, and Bellingham Festival of Music. Keep reading.

Since its founding in 1982, Portland Columbia Symphony has become a staple of Multnomah County’s arts scene, bringing 62 paid core musicians together each year to perform a classical subscription series and myriad education and outreach events for audiences based in both Portland and Gresham. What started out as a volunteer orchestra formed by Jerry Leudders would soon become an incorporated non-profit organization, when John Trudeau took over as PCSO’s music director and conductor in 1986. Huw Edwards served in that same role from 2000 to 2012, before Steven Byess took the reins in 2014 after a national search.

Learn more at

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