Educational and Community Outreach
Eugene Concert Choir Outreach (ECCO) Program
The ECCO Program was implemented in 2009 by our Educational Coordinator, Jennifer McConochie and received an extremely positive response from classroom teachers and children. This group visits elementary schools, and provides lively interactive presentations that engage the children. The ECCO program is designed to address five benchmark national standards for Music Education Grades K-4 as established by the National Association for Music Education (MENC). A study guide is provided to the teachers to prepare students for the in-school presentation and enable them to carry on the educational elements beyond the presentation. Teachers are also given a musical CD for continued participation. Drawing from the American repertoire performed during the previous season, ECCO did in-school presentations of their first program in ten elementary classrooms from late March through May of 2009, and into the Fall of 2009, reaching nearly 300 children. Responses to our program have been overwhelmingly positive, and several classrooms have requested an on-going series of presentations. Over 80% of the classrooms assisted have been Title I schools.
To help to actively engage young people in choral music concerts Eugene Concert Choir makes an effort to include them as performers. In 2008 and 2009, the December Mason Williams & Friends Holiday Show offered an opportunity for the South Eugene High School Concert Choir, the Young Men’s Ensemble and The Classics to performed on Silva Concert Hall stage with the Eugene Concert Choir, the Oregon Mozart Players, and Mason Williams and his combo of extraordinary musicians. Younger singers from the Oregon Festival Choirs provided festive pre-concert music in the lobby, entertaining the audience as they awaited entry to the concert hall. Opportunities such as these for our youth draw our community together and create a memorable experience for the young people, whether they go on as future performers or future audience members.
The Singing a Masterwork Project
Every three or four years, the Concert Choir presents its grandest educational outreach project. Music teachers prepare children in grades 4 through 8 on a portion of a choral masterwork in their choirs and classrooms over a six-week period. The children come together onstage Silva Concert Hall at the Hult Center with the Eugene Concert Choir and orchestra for a lecture-demonstration and performance of the selected music. Teachers, children, parents and other community members have praised the “Singing a Masterwork Project” as a deeply inspiring educational event. Approximately 2,000 children have participated in the project over the years, learning and singing portions of the Gounod St. Cecilia Mass, the Brahms Requiem, the Berlioz Requiem, and in 2007 the Puccini Messa di Gloria.