Michael Allen Harrison with Julia van der Laan and Shane Lundgren. photo provided
By Katy Yoder
Last Wednesday evening, Camp Sherman's House on Metolius was buzzing with excitement as 100 guests anticipated the arrival of Portland composer Michael Allen Harrison. Back after a successful concert this summer, Harrison greeted a sold-out crowd ready to welcome the holiday season with Christmas classics like "Little Drummer Boy" and "Oh, Christmas Tree," as well as many of his own compositions.
Melissa Novotny heard about the event and didn't want to miss it.
"My neighbor told me I couldn't miss the chance to hear Michael Allen Harrison when he came back to House on Metolius. I was at an event here earlier in the summer and loved it," she said.
Harrison played songs from the holiday classic movie "White Christmas." And just like the movie, all the evening needed to achieve perfection was a fresh blanket of snow. Guests roamed throughout the classic lodge, marveling at the architecture, countless antiques and fixtures reminiscent of Timberline Lodge.
Only recently open to the public, House on Metolius offers guests a glimpse into the fascinating lives of the Lundgren family. World travelers and avid outdoorsmen, the lodge walls are filled with photographs from family adventures around the world.
Shane Lundgren attended the concert with daughter Julia van der Laan and his mother. His reaction to the many guests and the happy mood of the evening showed his pleasure in seeing his family home used to bring joy to so many people.
"We have so many Christ-mas memories here," he said.
Shane was pleased to hear the Steinway piano played so beautifully by Harrison. Earlier, during Thanksgiving, his 98-year-old grandmother sat down at the keys and played for the family. A classical pianist, Evelyn Lundgren has played the piano since her husband, Leonard, purchased the piano for her in Portland over 50 years ago.
That evening the lodge was booked with guests who were able to stay in the rooms on the property. When the concert was over, overnight guests gathered in the living room, shared a glass of wine and spent a quiet moment chatting with Harrison by the fireplace.
Harrison will return on March 9 for another concert. House on Metolius staff has already started booking rooms and selling tickets for Harrison's next concert at the lodge. In March Harrison hopes to bring his family with him and share the views of the vast meadow and Metolius River that meanders below the lodge.
There are preliminary talks about the possibility for even bigger plans involving Harrison. "We're just discussing things now," he told the audience that night. "But wouldn't it be amazing to host the Ten Grands fundraiser in that meadow?" The guests clapped their approval.
For more information visit www.metolius.com or call 541-595-0262. The property is a gated resort and requires reservations for visits.