Eugene is full of opportunities to enjoy the performing arts, and concert music is prominent among the offerings. In this program, three music leaders will describe some of the experiences provided by our vast array of performing ensembles and the concert settings in which they perform.
Diane Retallack is the Artistic Director of the Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Vocal Arts. Diane has had experience in every level of choral direction, including college and high school teaching, church choirs, children’s choruses, and community groups. She is an American Choral Directors Association certified adjudicator for the state of Oregon. In 2005, she received the Bishop Arts and Letters Award for extraordinary contribution to arts and culture in Eugene. In 2010 she was invited to conduct her chamber ensemble, Eugene Vocal Arts, at the American Choral Directors Association Northwest Conference in Seattle in recognition of their superb artistry. Diane earned a BS in Music Education from University of Illinois, an MA from UW-Madison, and a DM (Doctor of Music) in Choral Conducting from Indiana University.
Sabrina Madison-Cannon is the Dean of the UO School of Music and Dance. She comes to the UO from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she was the Associate Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs and a Professor of Dance in the Conservatory of Music and Dance. She is a professionally-trained dancer and choreographer who has had her work performed on stages around the world. Among other higher education positions, she had the honor of being the University of Georgia’s first “Willson Center for the Arts – Franklin College Visiting Scholar” in the departments of dance and African-American Studies. Her research on African-American dance ethos has been featured in national conferences. In addition to earning an MFA in dance from the University of Iowa, she graduated from the 2013 HERS Denver Institute, a leadership program for women in higher education.
Francesco Lecce-Chong is the Music Director and Conductor of the Eugene Symphony. He has swiftly made his mark in Eugene–and Santa Rosa, where he also conducts–with a series of new music and community initiatives. Most recently, both orchestras announced his “First Symphony Project,” commissioning four major American orchestral works to be performed over the next four years, accompanied by multiple composer residences and community events. He is also committed to the training and championing of young orchestral musicians, having served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years and worked with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the New World Symphony. Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.