The 20th season of picfest marked an outstanding achievement: two decades of serving more than 175 choirs from 34 states and provinces in six countries on four continents. This translates into 6000+ singers, 400 individual and combined Festival Chorus performances, a cumulative repertoire of 1,262 pieces of music from medieval chant to music being heard for the first time in its premiere at picfest.
The list of guest conductors, which reads like a Who’s Who of the choral field includes: Bob Chilcott, Sandra Snow, Andrea Ramsey, Lynn Gackle, Rebecca Rottsolk, Doreen Rao, Axel Theimer, Judith Willoughby, and the conductors for the 20th season, Henry Leck and Fernando Malvar-Ruiz.
In addition, picfest has introduced a new feature as it heads into decade number three. A growing roster of collaborating artists, who help the festival expand the boundaries of choral music, includes: jazz legends- the Yellowjackets; multi-instrumental,vocal sensations Moira Smiley & VOCO; and YouTube pioneers Evynne & Peter Hollens.
A close association with the renowned Oregon Bach Festival provides another amazing opportunity – concerts featuring virtuoso performers like Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Thomas Quastaff, The Punch Brothers, The Canadian Brass, Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls and the astonishing OBF Chorus and Orchestra.
Season 2017 began with the Treble Choral Festival (June 27 – July 3) followed by the Boys & Young Men’s Choral Festival (July 10 – 16).
Each week commenced with the arrival of choirs by plane, train and automobile. They settled into their lodging on the University of Oregon’s beautiful, arboretum-type campus to prepare for the adventure ahead.
What followed was a musical journey led by inspiring conductors/clinicians Henry Leck and Fernando Malvar-Ruiz.
With the picfest focus on collaboration rather than competition, the festival created an environment in which life-changing personal and artistic growth was the norm.
However, it all paled when compared to the more important measure of the festival’s success and road map for the future – anoften heard review of singers and conductors alike: picfest was the most amazing week of my life…so far!
See reviews from the 2017 participants themselves:
ALWAY SOMETHING SINGS
(Treble Choral Festival – Henry Leck)