Awards Highlight Festival Gala program

  • Jul 17, 2013

In a prelude to the season’s concerts, the Oregon Bach Festival celebrated its 44th season with a program of awards at its successful June 27th gala fundraiser. (Photos: Jon Meyers) John Evans, OBF president and executive director, presented the Silver Baton Award to Jim and Yvonne Wildish of the Wildish Companies, the Eugene–based construction firms. The award recognizes corporations whose cumulative support for the OBF totals more than $100,000. 


Jim Wildish acknowledged the role of his brother Tom, a longtime OBF donor and former board chair. “He understood, like Helmuth has done in the world of music, that our job is to build bridges. We have been happy to help the Festival build connections to our community.”

Anton Armstrong, director of the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy since its 1998 inception, received the Saltzman Award for exceptional commitment to the Festival’s mission. Armstrong acknowledged the inspiration of Festival founders Helmuth Rilling and Royce Saltzman (Saltzman presented the award to Armstrong).

John Evans, Anton Armstrong, Royce Saltzman

 “It has been a blessing to have been part of their great vision,” Armstrong said, “to share music with young people in a meaningful way that touches their souls, so that they can reach out and touch the souls of others.” Later in the evening, Helmuth Rilling was formally presented with two awards that had been announced earlier in the spring. OBF board chair Dave Frosaker of Wells Fargo Bank presented Rilling with the annual Eugene Arts and Letters Award, which had been announced June 7 at the Eugene arts community’s Brava Breakfast.


OBF board member Elfrieda Heinrichs presented Rilling with Chorus America’s Distinguished Service Award, that national organization’s highest honor. Heinrichs is a member of that organization’s board. She had first announced it in Seattle during its June national conference.

The “Helmuth Rilling: Danke Schön” fundraiser was attended by nearly 300 OBF supporters. Auction packages and other activities raised more than $80,000 to benefit OBF’s education programs. Previous recipients of the Silver Baton:
  • Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Eugene/Bigfoot Beverage
  • Wells Fargo
  • The Oregon Community Foundation
  • Lufthansa German Airlines
  • KeyBank
  • Koke Printing
  • Mercedes Benz of Eugene
Previous recipients of the Saltzman Award:
  • Donald and Willie Tykeson
  • Lilah, Brad, and Colleen Stangeland
  • Andrew and Phyllis Berwick
  • J. Peter and Mary Ann Moore
  • Dave and Lynn Frohnmayer
  • Nonnie Cole
  • Helmuth Rilling
  • Thomas Wildish
  • Bill Bowerman
  • Royce Saltzman
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