“The Diaries of George Vause (1887-1983)” is the topic of the third program of the Original Wasco County Courthouse 2021 Regional History Forum. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.

George Vause

George Vause appears in a photo taken for his 1905 graduation from The Dalles High School.  Julie Reynolds will draw upon Vause’s journals for a Zoom presentation of the local boy who became a musician of national renown in Saturday’s Regional History Forum program.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions programs are taking place on Zoom and not at the historic 1859 Courthouse.

Access is free at OWCCZoomLink.info and those needing help getting Zoom on a computer or cell phone may leave a message at 541 296-4798. There is a limit of 100 participants. Zoom will be available at 1 p.m. and the presentation starts promptly at 1:30 p.m.

Local historian Julie Reynolds became interested in the life of a young man through her membership in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. It was over 100 years ago at the old St. Paul’s Chapel on Union Street that George Vause began a lifetime career as a church organist.

His keyboard skill also won him a place in the orchestra that played for theater productions at the Vogt Opera House, and Reynolds took part in a 2017 production of music heard long ago at the Vogt.

Vause went on to his life’s work as a professional musician with the help of a local patron who recognized the boy’s talent.

After studies at Oberlin and Julliard, Vause held prestigious positions as a church organist, accompanist for famous singers, and head of university music departments.

As a perceptive and sometimes opinionated young boy, Vause began keeping a journal. The earliest three volumes paint an intimate picture of life in The Dalles in the early 1900s. Eventually he typed the handwritten journals, adding comments to the earlier entries and ending up with 27 volumes.

Saturday’s online presentation is free, donations gladly accepted.