Leading up the start of the 40th Anniversary of the Oregon Bach Festival, we are taking a brief look at each year of the festival over the course of the next 40 days (41, to be precise). But we could not do it without a little help. On the occasion of the Oregon Bach Festival silver anniversary, Marian C. Donnelly compiled a history of the first 25 years. For the next couple of weeks, we will be graciously pulling excerpts from her work, The Oregon Bach Festival 1970-1994.
It never rains in Autzen Stadium. And B.Y.O.B.
The same can also be said of the Festival in 1979.
As the Festival continued presenting an ever-expanding and ambitious presentation of programs — including Bach's Magnificat, Mozart's Mass in C Minor, and Haydn's The Seasons — it become abundantly clear that something new was going to be needed in Eugene:
"By now plans were definitely underway for a new performing arts center in Eugene, a sign that was very welcome indeed…"
Even though Eugene was starving for a major performing arts facility, a new event introduced in 1979 satisfied another hunger:
"And a new event was introduced, 'Bach's Supper,' for which patrons bought box suppers for themselves and for musicians whom they hosted in a very convivial gathering at Beall Hall. For several years thereafter this continued, eventually becoming 'Bach's Lunch.' It proved to be a splendid formula for a get-acquinted meeting between musicians and the audience. The setting, except for two occasions, was on the courtyard behind Beall Hall, and 'BYOB' meant 'Bring Your Own Blanket.' Despite a few anxious moments, the event was never rained out."
And the Festival's first decade came to a close.
Tomorrow: 1980 - A Model Citizen
You can purchase your tickets to the 2010 Oregon Bach Festival here.
And for a more extensive history of the Festival, you can find it here.