FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM EUGENE CONCERT CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA
WINNER – “Best Documentary” by Oregon Independent Film Festival
Eugene, Oregon production company AO Films and Eugene Concert Choir win “Best Documentary” from the Oregon Independent Film Festival for their collaborative film, ”The Story of Shadow and Light: Giving Voice to an Alzheimer’s Journey”’
EUGENE, OR (September 15, 2017)—Local production company AO Films and Eugene Concert Choir have won “Best Documentary” by the Oregon Independent Film Festival for their collaborative documentary film, The Story of Shadow and Light: Giving Voice to an Alzheimer’s Journey.
Eugene Concert Choir was awarded a $125,000 Creative Heights Initiative grant from the Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation to help fund the commission of a ground-breaking masterwork. The project included the original commission for chamber choir and orchestra by Portland-based composer Joan Szymko of Oregon, as well as the world premiere performance in the University of Oregon’s Beall Concert Hall, professional concert video and audio recordings, and a film documentary of the artistic journey.
For nearly 18 months, AO Films followed artistic director and conductor Diane Retallack and composer Joan Szymko as they collaborated on the incredible project to tell the story of Alzheimer’s through music. The culmination of the journey was the world premiere of Shadow and Light at Beall Concert Hall in April of 2016, performed by Eugene Vocal Arts and Eugene Concert Orchestra, conducted by Diane Retallack with soloists Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano; Sarah Joanne Davis, soprano; Brendan Tuohy, tenor; Lexy Wellman, speaker.
“We were intrigued from the beginning about the idea of translating Alzheimer’s disease into a fully orchestrated performance,” says AO Films owner and director Ryan Welch. “Following the journey and learning about Alzheimer’s and dementia was an eye-opening experience for our entire team. We’re proud to have the opportunity to capture this powerful story.”
The film will premiere to the public on Wednesday, September 20th at 5:30pm at the Broadway Metro Cinemas in Eugene at 43 West Broadway. Tickets are $11 and can be purchased online at oregonindependentfilmfest.com.
Earlier this year Diane Retallack, artistic director and conductor, along with the Eugene Vocal Arts won the American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music in the community division for the recorded performance of the newly commissioned world premiere.
The Eugene Concert Choir organization, the parent nonprofit of the Eugene Vocal Arts chamber choir, has organized a grassroots campaign to share the groundbreaking, powerful artistic work with memory care facilities and libraries.
“It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done,” says Diane Retallack of the Shadow and Lightcommission. Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that afflicted both Retallack’s mother and grandmother. “As an artist, I was drawn to create something through music about my experience…and now I’m hoping to share it with the world.”
The campaign on generosity.com by INDIEGOGO welcomes all donations, indicating that every donation of $25 provides one DVD/CD package to a memory care facility or library. Included in the DVD/CD set is a CD audio recording of Shadow and Light, and the DVD includes the world-premiere concert video as well as the award-winning film documentary: The Story of Shadow and Light: Giving Voice to an Alzheimer’s Journey.
To contribute to the grassroots campaign or to purchase the DVD/CD set of Shadow and Light, visit www.EugeneConcertChoir.org/