What makes vocal music essential to your life?
We interviewed former ECC vocalist Marissa Robb during our 40th season. Listen to her describe why she loves the choir and how choral music brings her bliss.
The Eugene Concert Choir, established in 1974, is an auditioned chorus of highly skilled singers with exceptional musicianship and previous choral experience.
Led by Artistic Director Diane Retallack, the choir is a celebrated pillar of the rich cultural fabric of the Pacific Northwest. Located in the picturesque Willamette Valley in Eugene, Oregon, the 100-voice chorus performs an eclectic blend of music from the greatest symphonic choral masterworks with orchestra and acclaimed world-class soloists, to modern popular works with contemporary guest artists.
The group began as a collection of individuals who loved to sing and needed an outlet for their passion, and who joined together for a read-through of Handel’s Messiah, under the direction of Philip Bayles. In 1985, Diane Retallack assumed leadership of the choir, and energetically spearheaded its artistic development. In 1997, the Eugene Concert Choir became a resident company of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, where we present our annual 3-concert season and educational outreach event in the stunning 2,500-seat Silva Concert Hall.
Touring ensembles from the Eugene Concert Choir organization have performed internationally in China, Australia, Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. By special invitation, the Eugene Concert Choir performed the Bruckner E Minor Mass in Carnegie Hall in 2013. In June 2015, a touring choir performed the Mozart Requiem and Vivaldi Gloria in Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy.
Highlights include performances of the great choral masterworks: the Brahms, Berlioz, Verdi, Fauré and Mozart Requiem Masses, the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Bach B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus and numerous other major and minor choral works, in partnership with the Oregon Mozart Players. The Concert Choir has collaborated with such local organizations as the Oregon Bach Festival in Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) with the Paul Winter Consort, the Eugene Ballet Company in fully staged and choreographed versions of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, and with the Eugene Symphony in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.