Producing an annual world-class Festival requires a team of dedicated, passionate, and skilled people. Whether it be a 20+ year veteran employee or one who’s never experienced a Pacific Northwest summer, everyone shares a common sense of purpose and determination. Meet the people who make it happen.
Michael AndersonDir. of Artistic Administration
Sandy CummingsDir. of Finance
Gretchen FarrarSenior Assoc. Dir. of Development
Sarah Suponski FrederickDevelopment Assistant
Dave GoudyDir. of Education Programs
Josh GrenDir. of Marketing / Communications
Janelle McCoyExecutive Director
Jenn ThompsonExecutive Operations Assistant
Michael Anderson is an accomplished performing arts administrator and clarinetist. He has served in the Executive Director role for the Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Eugene Opera. He is currently Director of Artistic Administration for the Oregon Bach Festival, and has served in that role with the Oregon Festival of American Music and with the Fresno Philharmonic. As administrator and performer, he has worked with a variety of well-known artists including Kurt Herbert Adler, Marin Alsop, Emanuel Ax, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Joshua Bell, John Cage, Victor Borge, Canadian Brass, Judy Collins, Richard Egarr, Ella Fitzgerald, Giancarlo Guererro, Matthew Halls, Lorin Hollander, Monica Huggett, Dick Hyman, Ken Kesey, Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, John Nelson, Arvo Pärt, Itzhak Perlman, Kryzsztof Penderecki, Thomas Quasthoff, Steve Reich, Helmuth Rilling, Sven-David Sandström, Peter Schickele, David Shifrin, Frederica von Stade, David Ogden Stiers, and John Williams. Anderson has produced performances of symphony, oratorio, opera, ballet, chamber music, period instrument ensembles, film with orchestra, and theater.
As clarinetist, Anderson’s CD credits include the Oregon Bach Festival’s Grammy Award-winning recording of Penderecki’s Credo, and the Grammy-nominated Das Lied von der Erde recorded by Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. He has performed with Chamber Music Northwest, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, and the festival Le Domaine Forget in Quebec. He is currently Principal Clarinet of the Eugene Symphony and Santa Fe Pro Musica, and served as the Oregon Bach Festival’s Principal Clarinet for many years before becoming Director of Artistic Administration for the Festival. Anderson premiered Tomas Svoboda’s Clarinet Concerto in April 2013 with the Eugene Symphony, which was featured internationally on APM’s Performance Today in 2013 and 2014.
Michael Anderson was born in Portland Oregon, and studied at the University of Oregon, Portland State University, and the University of Southern California. He has taught at the University of Oregon, Willamette University, and Lane Community College, and currently teaches at Woodwinds @ Wallowa Lake each summer.
Sandy Cummings is a native of Eugene and a graduate of Lane Community College. She began in the accounting field in 1991 and has worked at the Festival since 1998. In her free time, she enjoys wake-boarding, traveling, going to the beach, driving her silver Audi TTS, and caring for her adopted kitty Tigger.
As the leader of Oregon Bach Festival’s fundraising initiatives, Gretchen builds deep and meaningful relationships with donors because she loves connecting philanthropists with the exceptional level of music that Oregon Bach Festival offers to the Eugene community.
In her role as Senior Associate Director of Development, she focuses on obtaining program support through gifts of $25,000 and more while cultivating and celebrating donors at all levels through Friends and Conductor’s Society giving groups.
In myriad roles advocating for arts organizations, development has always been a passion for Gretchen. In her previous role of Associate Director of Development for Corporate, Foundation, and Donor Relations, Gretchen managed the Festival’s 2016 fundraising gala which exceeded its $100,000 goal for the first time in its history and increased revenue over 50% from the prior year. As Development Director at Burlington City Arts, Associate Director of Planned Giving at The New York Philharmonic, and Individual Gifts Associate with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Gretchen’s thoughtful approach created important relationships and events which deepened engagement and increased giving.
Gretchen is a dedicated educator, collaborator, and mentor. For over a decade, when The Richard Tucker Music Foundation hosts its annual, star-studded opera gala at Carnegie Hall or Avery Fisher Hall, Gretchen is invited to oversee the soloists and ensure the performance runs smoothly. She has coached early professional singers on a career in the arts and assisted directing performances with Elysium-Between Two Continents in Germany and New York. Her articles about the music profession, including the importance of being prepared in high pressure situations and advantages to working as a teaching artist, have been published nationally. A former Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Oregon, Gretchen introduced New York City school students to opera as a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
Gretchen’s impact extends to both sides of the stage. As a soprano, Gretchen has collaborated with talented musicians in concert series throughout the Northeast, drawing on diverse repertoire that spans eras and genres. A seasoned performer, she has sung with Anchorage Opera, Eugene Opera, Dicapo Opera, and Hudson Opera Theater, among others. A recipient of grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Italian Cultural Institute, Gretchen speaks German and Italian and has a strong conversational knowledge of Spanish and French.
In her free time, Gretchen has been known to sing the National Anthem at Ducks Athletics events.
Sarah Suponski Frederick
Sarah Suponski Frederick, originally from Connecticut, has recently relocated to Eugene from the San Francisco Bay Area. She comes to the Oregon Bach Festival with several years of experience supporting a K-12 teacher professional development program at the University of California, Berkeley, where she assisted the director, provided administrative support, and coordinated events. She is looking forward to joining the team at the Oregon Bach Festival and to continue to learn more about her new home. Her other interests include home design and DIY, cooking, cycling, hiking and fishing with her fiancé, and babying their newly adopted dog.
Dave Goudy has been with OBF for six years after a decade of arts management in Texas with youth orchestras in Fort Worth and San Antonio. He has played cello for over 30 years and has a music degree from the University of Miami in Florida. Away from OBF, you can find him with his family, playing early music, or avidly following sports.
Josh has spent more than 20 years in the performing arts field, working as an actor and director in Los Angeles, San Diego, London, and Chicago, amongst others. More recently, he has devoted his time to the Marketing and Development departments at California Repertory Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from San Diego State University, a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from California State University, Long Beach. In his free time, Josh enjoys watching baseball and college football, traveling the globe, and pursuing his quest to find the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie.
After a national search, the Oregon Bach Festival welcomed Janelle McCoy as Executive Director in January 2016, only the fourth to be named to that role in the Festival’s 47-year history. She was most recently Executive Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. While there, McCoy guided the organization’s national tour with Branford Marsalis, the most significant tour in its 51-year history. McCoy also steered a NEA-funded community collaboration with the Joybells of Melmark, a multi-service agency for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which produced a CD and national television appearances. McCoy brought the orchestra to alternative venues to explore multi-genre and disciplinary performance with collaborators– all of which received critical acclaim and major gifts. During McCoy’s tenure, the Chamber Orchestra also achieved its first significant financial surplus in more than a decade. She assembled nearly a million dollars in major funding from institutions to support innovative commissions or to be used as unrestricted operational dollars, as well as an additional half a million dollars from private individuals.
McCoy has 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 and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. During her tenure, Mendelssohn Club’s income quadrupled and its funding transitioned from local to national and it released its first commercial CD on the Innova label. Its innovative projects were recognized by the Wallace and Knight Foundations, NEA, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, to name a few.
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. McCoy has served as a board member and officer for The Musical Fund Society, Mishkan Shalom and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and as a professor in Drexel University’s Arts Administration graduate program. She has lectured nationally on behalf of not-for-profit organizations and foundations who seek to equip their stakeholders with tools for the development of institutional vision and strategy, as well as technology.
Recently, McCoy was asked how being Executive Director at the Oregon Bach Festival had gone over the last year and what’s in store for the future. She stated, “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be at the University of Oregon and the Oregon Bach Festival-– an institution that I have known about and admired for decades. I personally know how powerful the arts are; they certainly have changed my life in unexpected ways. I look forward to ensuring that others have access to transcendent opportunities and experiences by securing OBF’s sustainability for another fifty years.
“Though my role is different from that of my predecessor’s (John was our General Director, whereas I am the Executive Director), I am pleased that I still can utilize my commissioning experience for the Festival when our budget allows. I have worked on some truly remarkable world premieres and co-commissions that brought national accolades to the composers, were acknowledged in case studies, and led to opportunities for me at foundations, arts service organizations, government agencies and universities.”
Before pursuing a career in arts management, McCoy worked in the commercial sector with a particular focus on the use of information technology optimizing marketing effectiveness and achieving cost-reduction.
When asked if she had encountered any surprises along the way, she commented, “There’s no doubt you receive heightened scrutiny from some when one is a female leader. In spite of that, I use those situations as inspiration to work even harder, be my very best, and to mentor those who will be filling in the ranks behind me.”
McCoy also enjoyed a distinguished career as a mezzo-soprano soloist, performing 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. Early in her vocal career, she was the recipient of numerous Young Artist awards. She served cantorially in Ft. Myers, FL for several years, and continued in that role at synagogues in Philadelphia and Chicago.
Jenn Thompson comes to OBF from the world of politics where she was Chief of Staff to several elected officials in the Oregon Legislature. She has over 15 years of experience running a busy front office. Jenn lives in Springfield with her children. On the weekends, she can be found roaming Mount Pisgah with her dogs. She enjoys baking and is currently working on mastering her bread making skills.
Anton ArmstrongSFYCA Director
Paul JacobsOrgan Institute Director
Robert KyrComposers Symposium Director
Adam LaMotteBerwick Academy Director
Sharon PaulUOCC Director
Kathy RomeyChorus Master
Anton Armstrong is the founding artistic director of the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy and an award-winning teacher widely recognized for his work with singers of all ages. He is the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and has been conductor of the internationally acclaimed St. Olaf Choir since 1990. A graduate of St. Olaf, Armstrong earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. Armstrong conducts and lectures around the world and has conducted ensembles and appeared before regional, national, and international gatherings of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, National Association for Music Education, Choristers Guild, and the International Federation for Choral Music.
The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award (in 2011 for Messiaen’s towering “Livre du Saint-Sacrement”), Paul Jacobs combines a probing intellect and extraordinary technical skills with an unusually large repertoire, both old and new. “Paul Jacobs is one of the great living virtuosos,” praised Anne Midgette in the The Washington Post, and in an article in The Economist Mr. Jacobs was termed “America’s leading organ performer.”
An eloquent champion of his instrument who argues that the organ for too long has been excluded from the mainstream of classical music, Paul Jacobs is known for his imaginative interpretations and charismatic stage presence. No other organist alive today is repeatedly invited as soloist to perform with the country’s preeminent orchestras, thus making Mr. Jacobs a pioneer in the movement for the revival of symphonic music featuring the organ.
Heralded as “one of the major musicians of our time” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, Paul Jacobs has transfixed audiences, colleagues, and critics alike with landmark performances of the complete works for solo organ by J.S. Bach and Messiaen, as well as works by a vast array of other composers. Mr. Jacobs made musical history at the age of 23 when he played Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. A fierce advocate of new music, Mr. Jacobs has premiered works by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Theofanidis, and Christopher Rouse, among others. As a teacher he has also been a vocal proponent of the redeeming nature of traditional and contemporary classical music, which he fears is being diluted in a popular culture.
The 2017-18 season brings uncharted territory for Mr. Jacobs; in September he served as president of the jury for the first International Organ Competition in Shanghai, China — an especially important milestone in the development of organ playing in Asia. Mr. Jacobs’ orchestral engagements include Stephen Paulus’ Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra with the Cleveland Orchestra, Wayne Oquin’s Resilience and James MacMillan’s A Scotch Bestiary with the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony with the Utah Symphony and the Chicago Symphony. Recitals are slated under the aegis of the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Hall, as part of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Tristan Project, in Sacramento, Tampa, Houston, Baylor University, and Pittsburgh, among others.
Mr. Jacobs began the 2016-17 season with a recital at Lincoln Center’s Paul Recital Hall, followed by orchestral engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he gave the world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Organ Concerto and performed the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony. He also joined the Toledo Symphony for a performance of Michael Dougherty’s Once Upon a Castle, a work he recorded in 2015 with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra which was released by Naxos in September 2016, and awarded three Grammies, including Best Classical Compendium. Solo recitals included the Oregon Bach Festival, El Paso Pro Musica, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall.
In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Jacobs and world-renowned dramatic soprano Christine Brewer toured the program of their Naxos album “Divine Redeemer,” with appearances at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica, and Spivey Hall in Atlanta, GA. At the Pacific Symphony, Mr. Jacobs curated and performed at a multi-day organ festival in February 2016. Mr. Jacobs performed recitals throughout the United States, including at the Kennedy Center and Denver’s Cathedral of St. John, and he appeared with orchestras including the Indianapolis Symphony and the Lexington Philharmonic. In summer 2016, Mr. Jacobs returned to the Oregon Bach Festival, where he is the director of the Festival’s Organ Institute.
Mr. Jacobs’ performance in Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival with soprano Christine Brewer received a glowing review from Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim of The New York Times:
Seated at the console was the organist Paul Jacobs, a virtuoso of dazzling technical acumen, who anchored this recital of devotional music as part of the Lincoln Center White Light Festival. […]Mr. Jacobs showed off his mastery in a handful of solo selections by Bach, Reger, Charles-Marie Widor and Nadia Boulanger, Lili’s sister. In Reger’s Toccata and Fugue, he built up a wonderfully organic crescendo in which the music expanded in all dimensions — brightness, clarity and volume — until it filled the room with a pulsating, radiant cloud of sound.
Prodigiously talented from his earliest years, at 15 young Jacobs was appointed head organist of a parish of 3,500 in his hometown, Washington, Pennsylvania. Mr. Jacobs would go on to make musical history at the age of 23 when he played J.S. Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. He has also performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in marathon performances throughout North America, and recently reached the milestone of having performed in each of the fifty United States. In addition to his recordings of Messiaen and Daugherty on Naxos, Mr. Jacobs has recorded organ concerti by Lou Harrison and Aaron Copland with the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas on the orchestra’s own label, SFS Media.
Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, double-majoring with John Weaver for organ and Lionel Party for harpsichord, and at Yale University with Thomas Murray. He joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2003, and was named chairman of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. He received Juilliard’s prestigious William Schuman Scholar’s Chair in 2007.
In addition to his concert and teaching appearances, Mr. Jacobs is a frequent performer at festivals across the world, and has appeared on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Pipedreams, and Saint Paul Sunday, as well as NPR’s Morning Edition, ABC-TV’s World News Tonight, and BBC Radio 3.
Robert Kyr is chair of the composition department at the UO School of Music and Dance, where he also directs the Music Today Festival, the Vanguard Concert & Workshop Series, and the Pacific Rim Gamelan. He has composed twelve symphonies, three violin concerti, chamber music, and more than eighty vocal works for ensembles of all types, with commissions from Conspirare, Chanticleer, the Yale Camerata, and the Harvard Collegium-Musicum, among many others. He is also a writer and a filmmaker, and his concert and multimedia works often focus on important social issues such as conflict and reconciliation, peace-making, and the environment—living in harmony with nature.
Adam LaMotte is well-known to audiences throughout the country as a leader of both period and modern ensembles, on violin as well as viola. He has appeared as soloist, concertmaster, and conductor of numerous orchestras throughout the country, including the Northwest Sinfonietta in Seattle, String Orchestra of the Rockies, Astoria Festival Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Maggini String Orchestra, Ars Lyrica, Mercury in Houston.
As part of the baroque ensemble El Mundo Adam was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award. Mr. LaMotte has been hailed by critics as an “especially compelling” musician with “exceptional talent,” whose performances are “energetic and exquisite.” As Artistic Director of the Montana Baroque Festival, he brings world-class period instrument performances to the rural Montana community. He has co-founded two critically-acclaimed ensembles, in Portland and in Houston, and continues to produce many chamber music and chamber orchestra performances.
Sharon J. Paul is the Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Chair of Vocal and Choral Studies at the University of Oregon, where she teaches graduate courses in choral conducting, repertoire, and pedagogy and conducts the internationally award-winning UO Chamber Choir and University Singers. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from Stanford University, a Master of Fine Arts in conducting from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Arts in music from Pomona College.
The University of Oregon Chamber Choir, under her direction, participated in two recent international festivals, winning First Prize in the 2013 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival in Cork, Ireland and taking top honors in two categories at the 2011 Tallinn International Choral Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. In addition, they have performed through juried audition at state and division conferences for the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. In the summer of 2014 the Chamber Choir became a resident ensemble at the Oregon Bach Festival, performing under the direction of Helmuth Rilling and Matthew Halls. The University of Oregon Chamber Choir is one of 10 choirs from around the world invited to compete at the prestigious International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf Germany in May 2015.
Dr. Paul served as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) and conductor of Chorissima and Virtuose, the organization’s acclaimed performance ensembles, from 1992 to July 2000. Under her leadership, the chorus released four compact discs, premiered major works by composers such as Chen Yi and Jake Heggie, represented the United States at four international festivals, and performed at the California Music Educators’ state conference, the American Choral Directors’ Western Division conference, and the International Society for Music Education’s international conference. In June 2000 the SFGC was the first youth chorus to win the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence, a national honor presented by Chorus America. In the same year they were also awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.
From 1984 to 1992, Dr. Paul served as Director of Choral Activities at California State University, Chico, where she directed a large choral program and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting, choral literature, and the humanities. In 1991 Dr. Paul received the Outstanding Teacher Award at CSU, Chico.
Dr. Paul has prepared singers for performances under world-class conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Herbert Blomstedt. She has presented interest sessions at regional, state, division, national, and international music conferences and appears frequently as adjudicator, clinician, and honor choir director throughout the United States, with recent engagements in Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Georgia, and Washington. In February 2014 Dr. Paul was honored to deliver the keynote address at the 50th Anniversary Conference of the American Choral Directors Association’s Western Division. She is the recipient of a 2014-15 Faculty Excellence Award from the University of Oregon.
Professor Kathy Saltzman Romey is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Minnesota, where she oversees the graduate program in choral conducting and conducts choirs. She is also Artistic Director of the 200-voice symphonic chorus, The Minnesota Chorale, which serves as principal chorus for the Minnesota Orchestra. Romey has served as a staff member to the Oregon Bach Festival since 1984 and is chorus master of the Festival Chorus, which she prepares for annual concerts, commissions, and recording projects. Active also as a guest conductor, chorus master, and clinician throughout the United States and Europe, Romey has led or prepared programs with the Berkshire Choral Festival, Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus, Grant Park Music Festival, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Netherlands Radio Choir, Teatro del Lago Festival Chile, Weimar Bach Academy, and Westminster Symphonic Choir. Romey has received teaching awards and grants, co-authored two book chapters, and collaborated with conductor Helmuth Rilling in writing his 2015 book – MESSIAH: Understanding and Performing Handel’s Masterpiece.
Seasonal Team Members
Greg Hamilton, Orchestra Librarian