Janelle McCoy named new Oregon Bach Festival director

Janelle McCoy is the new director of the Oregon Bach Festival

Janelle McCoy, a former opera singer and longtime orchestra and choral manager, has been chosen as the new executive director of the Oregon Bach Festival, the UO’s internationally recognized classical music celebration.

McCoy, who comes to Eugene from The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, becomes just the fourth executive director in the organization’s history. She will join Artistic Director Matthew Halls in January as a key member of the leadership team, tasked with continuing the legacy of the 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 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.

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 national and international levels. The 2016 festival will be held from June 23 to July 10.