About our festivals
picfest (Pacific International Choral Festivals) presents a series of choir gatherings in Eugene, Oregon in cooperation with the Oregon Bach Festival. Each summer the weeklong events occur as part of a two-year cycle featuring the following schedule (back on schedule in 2022):
On even numbered years
Lift Every Voice – (SATB; children/youth choirs thru age 18)
Sisters in Song – (female choirs thru age 18)
and odd numbered years
Turn the Music Up! – (boys, girls and mixed treble choirs)
picfest is intentionally noncompetitive, with emphasis on the highest level of musical artistry, collaboration and building friendships that carry on long after the festival week. Choirs are selected through an application process that includes recorded performances, recent programming history and other supporting materials. Space is limited to 300 singers, so the only competition is in being one of the choirs invited to participate.
Key features of the picfest model:
- Focus on artistry, creative programming, hospitality and community building
- Non-competitive framework
- Master conductor
- Sharing Our Songs performances by every choir
- Personal workshop for each choir with Master conductor
- Combined Festival Chorus rehearsals and performances
- Shared meals and housing complex
- Recreation and socials
- Several points of interface with the renowned Oregon Bach Festival
- Guest artists
picfest = unmatched quality for exceptional value
As a festival created by choral conductors, we were very attentive to issues that help make touring the smoothest experience possible. Therefore, unlike some events that have many times during the schedule in which each choir is responsible for meals, activities, etc., the festival pricing for picfest covers everything that a singer or adult needs to participate fully in the week.
We like to say that you can arrive at picfest with a nickel in your pocket and fully participate in the festival without having to spend it.
History of picfest
Inspired by the Oregon Bach Festival and encouraged by OBF Founder and Director Emeritus, Royce Saltzman, The Pacific International Children’s Choir Festival made its debut in June 1998. Co-founders, Peter Robb, his wife Genevieve Robb and sister Rebecca Robb Hicks accepted the challenge of creating an experience to meet and exceed the standard of excellence provided by OBF.
Year after year, the festival succeeded in establishing a reputation for musical excellence, creative programming, hospitality and community building that has now attracted 195+ outstanding choirs from 39 states and provinces in six countries on four continents. In all, more than 6500 young singers have been introduced to this extraordinary adventure of choral music making. In four hundred individual choir and combined Festival Chorus performances, they have presented 1262 pieces of music from medieval chant to world-premieres.