Mr. Scherr has conducted a number of symphonic works with the UCLA Orchestra and the Pacific Palisades Symphony. His musical theater experiences include the Mexican folk musical, La Virgin Del Tepeyac, at the Japan-American Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Scherr holds a BA and MFA in music from UCLA, and at present, he is completing a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Oregon School of Music.
The Pacific Rim Gamelan is an Indonesian orchestra, comprised of metal xylophones, drums, and gongs, which plays a rhythmic and colorful music of bell-like textures and deep gong resonances. Western audiences have flocked to hear gamelan music and have found it to be entrancing and captivating in its dynamic rhythmic energy. The ensemble, directed by University of Oregon Professor Robert Kyr, is an orchestra comprised of twenty musicians who perform on the beautifully crafted instruments of this Balinese gamelan, formally named "Gamelan Suranadi Indra Putra," which is literally translated as "Gamelan Holy Springs: Ascent of The God of Rain." Each member of the Pacific Rim Gamelan is both a composer and performer--hence, the repertoire of the ensemble is composed and performed by its members. In the Pacific Rim Gamelan, the musical cultures of Indonesia and North America are joined in the creation of a new music, which is cross-cultural and is composed by the community, which performs it.
Carol Robe has been a member of the Eugene Symphony, Oregon Mozart Players, and Principal Clarinet of the Eugene Opera for more than ten years. Also an ardent chamber musician, she has performed with numerous ensembles in Oregon, California, and Washington. For the past two years she has been Programming Coordinator of the Oregon Mozart Players' Chamber Music and Chocolate Series and has herself appeared in several works on recent programs including the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, the Brahms Clarinet Trio, and B?rtok's Contrasts for violin, clarinet, and piano. Ms. Robe received her Bachelor of Music degree from Cornell College in Iowa, where she studied clarinet with Dan Geeting. After being awarded a Ruth Lorraine Close Scholarship in 1977, she began her graduate studies at the University of Oregon School of Music, where she studied with the late Robert Vagner.
The summer after completing her Masters degree, Ms. Robe attended the Shawnigan Summer School of the Arts in Victoria, BC, where she studied clarinet with Gervase De Peyer of the London Symphony, and was coached by Harvey Shapiro and members of the Philadelphia String Quartet. Since 1990 Ms. Robe has been a student of former Boston Symphony clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo, travelling monthly to his home in Carmel, California, for lessons. She is herself a busy teacher with students in Eugene and Corvallis.
David Burham is a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist. He has been a member of the Eugene Symphony for thirteen years, in addition to performing with the Eugene Opera and the Oregon Mozart Players. He plays violin (acoustic and his custom-made electric), viola, mandolin, and piano. Mr. Burham has been a member of various bands for the last twenty years. He is the music director of the group Fiddle Magic. He is fluent in classical, jazz, blues, country, rock, and world music styles. Mr. Burham has also done voice work for radio and television, and is currently building his first violin. His teaching studio is in Eugene, Oregon, where he has taught for twelve years.
Martha Griffith has played harp since the age of five. A third generation harpist, Martha studied music with her mother and grandmother, both professors of harp at the University of Oregon. From an early age she had many performances with chamber ensembles and orchestras, often featured as soloist. While attending the School of Music at the University of Oregon, she received the prestigious Ruth Lorraine Close Award for excellence in harp performance for three consecutive years. Graduating degrees in music and romance languages, she continued classical harp lessons in France with Bertile Fournier. After her studies in Europe she began exploring the possibilities of performing popular music on the harp and pursued this interest with some of the most famous artists in the field. Martha combined her musical talents with a love of travel and began her career on cruise ships in 1989. Since then, she has made frequent appearances at sea performing a wide variety of music that includes classical favorites, American standards, Broadway hits, and popular ballads. At home in the Pacific Northwest, Martha performs with several classical ensembles and as a soloist.
Gamelan broadly describes musical ensembles from Southeast Asia usually comprised of percussion instruments dominated by magnificent bronze gongs and metallophones mounted on intricately carved wooden frames. Nuju Laras plays traditional music from the royal courts and villages of Central Java and also new compositions by both Indonesian and international composers. Nuju Laras' gamelan instruments include a forged bronze set from Central Java. Nuju Laras is a group of thirteen players learning both traditional and contemporary international gamelan music from Daniel W. Schmidt, an instructor of Central Javanese gamelan music and founder of the Berkeley Gamelan in California. Nuju Laras is a community gamelan players group and a performing arts ensemble of Eugene Chamber Theatre. Founded in 1990 and directed by Catherine Vandertuin, her emphasis is to offer unusual opportunities for participants to study and perform music and theatre influenced by Asian forms.
Now in its ninth season, Metolius String Quartet has become a fixture in the Oregon chamber music scene. Formerly the resident string quartet at Oregon State University, this foursome has been featured at the Oregon Coast Music Festival, the Methow Valley Music Festival, the OSU Winter Music Festival, the Newport Coffee Concerts, and the Ernest Bloch Music Festival. The Metolius Quartet always brings an unusually fresh energy to both traditional and new works. Members are Leslie Sawyer and Michael Grossman, violins, Abigail Stoughton, viola, and David Chinburg, cello.
A native of Minnesota, Leslie Sawyer has been the Concertmaster of the Eugene Symphony since 1982. She was trained at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Oregon. In addition to her degrees she was awarded the Performer's Certificate from Eastman. An active chamber music performer, Ms. Sawyer also teaches violin through Lane Community College and her own studio. She has participated in numerous summer festivals in the region including the Bach Festival in Eugene and serves as the Assistant Concertmaster in the Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, California. Her violin is an Alfonso Della Corte made in Naples in 1868.
Michael Grossman is Concertmaster of the Oregon Mozart Players and Principal Second Violin with the Eugene Symphony. He has also served as Concertmaster of Oregon's Sinfonia Concertante and the Yaquina Chamber Orchestra. A New Jersey native, Mr. Grossman studied music performance in New York, Boston, and Oregon. The beauty of the Northwest brought him to Corvallis, Oregon, where he lives and teaches. Mr. Grossman performs on an 1837 Antonio and Rafael Gagliano.
Abigail Stoughton grew up, studied, and taught on the East Coast (Washington, DC, Boston, and New York). She has travelled widely throughout the US teaching and performing as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra player. Currently she serves as Principal Violist of the Eugene Symphony and the OSU/Corvallis Symphony. Since 1980, she has spent summers performing with the Bach Festival in Eugene and the Mozart Festival in San Luis Obispo, California. Abigail plays in the Cascade Trio, is adjunct faculty in viola at OSU, and resides in Corvallis. Her viola is of Tyrolean origin, circa 1720.
David Chinburg studied at the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at all levels of musical instruction over the last 20 years and has served on the faculties of Beloit College, Willamette University, and Southwest Missouri State University. He is currently director of string classes at several public schools in Eugene, and conductor of the Eugene Junior Orchestra. His award-winning student groups have performed at several Oregon Music Educators Association state conventions. A frequent performer at summer festivals in Oregon, he is currently Principal Cellist of the Cascade Music Festival, and Assistant Principal Cellist of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra.
Organized in 1934, the Women's Choral Society (WCS) was chartered by the University of Oregon's Mu Phi Epsilon alumnae. It was Eugene's first all-women's choir.
For the past sixty-two years, WCS has performed for many pageants, conventions, and community events including several concerts with the Eugene Gleemen, the Eugene Symphony, and during the opening celebrations of the Hult Center.
Early in our history the family of Maude Densmore, charter president and first accompanist, established an endowment in her memory for scholarships to U of O music students. Through the generosity and support of community patrons, a second annual scholarship program has also been established. We are always proud to present our award winners at one of our concerts each year. Many of our recipients have gone on to peforming arts competitions, and most recently, to the Miss America Pageant. It is our pleasure, with the assistance of those who continue to support our programs, to be a part of these students' education and successes.
Since its beginning, WCS has continued to make three important contributions to the musical life of the local communities:
* financial aid to music students at the University of Oregon
* concert music of variety and quality
* bonds of friendship and joy from working and singing together
Jim Steinberger is a native Oregonian from Silverton. During high school, he did a great deal of concert and solo work. Jim graduated from the University of Oregon in 1968 and began his teaching career at Pleasant Hill High School. During his tenure there, he established the highly acclaimed Jazz Festival. He became Choral Director of Music at South Eugene in 1985, and is also currently the Choral Director at Churchill High School. For the past six years, the women of the Women's Choral Society continue to feel very forunate to have Jim as our Maestro; sharing his talent, musicality, and teaching abilities with our choir. Jim and Konnie are the parents of Jeremy, age 14, Jacob, 11, and Haley, 8.
Mary Beaudet was born and raised in Portland, studying piano and voice for twelve years. She sang professionally with the Portland Symphonic Choir, the Portland Chorale, and was the soloist for Trinity Episcopal Church. She moved to Eugene in the Spring of 1976 and began singing with the Women's Choral Society. That same year, she was asked to take the position of WCS accompanist. She has also been the accompanist for numerous South Eugene High School vocal recitals and concerts since coming to Eugene. Her musicianship and vocal talent bring a depth of expertise to all our practices and performances. We are grateful for her devotion to WCS.