Lara Michell

Orchestra Welcomes Lara Michell

Soon the sounds of soloists, oboes, violins, cellos and flutes will fill Roseburg’s First Presbyterian church facility as the Umpqua Chamber Orchestra and the Umpqua Singers begin another season of music in Douglas County.

Headlining the Nov. 8 performance will be Lara Michell, an eclectic vocal performer whose style runs from alt-folk to swing and who has performed with bands Stolen Sweets and Dirty Martini. She is the sister of UCC writing instructor Jill Michell.

“As a writing teacher who has studied a lot of lyric poetry, I’m continually impressed by how beautiful Lara’s lyrics are,” says Jill Michell.  “Her music itself is beautiful, and the lyrics take that music to a wonderfully thought-provoking level.” 

Music was not Lara Michell’s original choice of profession.  After completing law school, she actually practiced as a lawyer in Oregon for a few years prior to pursuing a musical career.  “She’s been extremely successful with her music, so following that dream was the right choice for her.”

Performing along with Lara Michell will be the Umpqua Chamber Orchestra, playing Handel’s Water Music among other scores to accent the Umpqua Singers’ vocal jazz numbers. 

“We mostly just want people to have fun and enjoy the music,” says Umpqua Singers member Arielle Chasteen.

The event will feature an estimated two too two and a half hours of musical performance.  This will be the first major exposition of the Umpqua Chamber Orchestra and Umpqua singers of the fall season.

 Jason Heald, director of the orchestra and the singers, is certain about what will be his favorite aspect of this upcoming musical season.

“All of it.”

Events begin at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the First Presbyterian Church, located at 823 SE Lane in Roseburg. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $15 for families.

Samples of Lara Michell’s music may be heard for free at


The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.