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Oregon Bach Festival names new executive director

  • Dec 14, 2015

Mezzo-soprano Janelle McCoy to take the helm in January

Eugene, OR (December 14, 2015) – Oregon Bach Festival has appointed Janelle McCoy as its new executive director. She will assume the role in January.

McCoy, who comes to Eugene from The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, becomes just the fourth executive director in the organization’s history.  She joins Artistic Director Matthew Halls as a key member of the leadership team, tasked with continuing the storied legacy of the internationally renowned, Grammy Award®-winning festival.

"I am delighted to welcome Janelle to the Oregon Bach Festival team and look forward with anticipation to collaborating with her over the coming years in helping to build and strengthen the festival and its many activities,” said Halls, an accomplished conductor and keyboardist who succeeded founding director Helmuth Rilling in 2014. “Janelle brings with her great expertise, energy and charisma, with a proven track record for excellence in the world of arts administration. These are exciting times for the Oregon Bach Festival."

As the new executive director, McCoy will oversee all areas of administration, including development, marketing, and financial management of the festival.  She will also act as liaison to Eugene and the community at large. “I'm thrilled to be joining the University of Oregon and Oregon Bach Festival,” said McCoy, who has also had a distinguished career as a mezzo-soprano. “Oregon Bach Festival has such an important legacy that encompasses choral, chamber and orchestral music. This organization is a true reflection of my own experience and artistic interests.”

McCoy added, “I'm genuinely looking forward to helping Artistic Director Matthew Halls bring innovation, engagement and new collaborations to festival audiences. It will be a privilege to work with him and the entire staff and board and to be part of the University of Oregon.”

As executive director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, McCoy guided the organization’s national tour with Branford Marsalis, the most significant tour in its 51-year history. McCoy also steered a National Endowment for the Arts-funded community collaboration with the Joybells of Melmark, a multiservice agency for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which produced a CD and national television appearances.

McCoy also served as executive director of Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, one of the nation's oldest and most respected independent choruses. McCoy was instrumental in guiding the chorus’ world premiere production of “Anthracite Fields,”which earned composer Julia Wolfe the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Prior to leading Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, McCoy held leadership posts responsible for development and marketing for Painted Bride Art Center, Women in Transition, Gulf Coast Symphony and The Chamber Music Society of Southwest Florida. McCoy has served on boards and committees for The Musical Fund Society, Mishkan Shalom and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, both as an officer and a member, and as an adjunct professor in Drexel University's arts administration graduate program.

As a singer, McCoy performed with leading orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of such celebrated conductors as Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles and the late Robert Shaw. She also sang as a cantor in Fort Myers, Florida, for five years and continued in that role at synagogues in Philadelphia and Chicago.

McCoy joins the Oregon Bach Festival on the cusp of their 2016 festival lineup announcement, and she will play an integral part in the festival on a national and international scale. The 2016 festival will be held from June 23 to July 10.