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Report: UO music school dean has nominated seven-member Bach committee

An unconfirmed report from a reliable source says the dean of the University of Oregon's School of Music and Dance has named a seven-person committee to help craft a new artistic vision for the beleaguered Oregon Bach Festival.

Dean Brad Foley has previously said he would appoint a seven-member group — composed of two board members, two OBF staffers, two musicians and a community member — to help OBF executive director Janelle McCoy plan the 2018 festival.

That announcement that the dean would appoint a committee followed the sudden and still-unexplained firing on Aug. 24 of Matthew Halls, the popular Brit who had been the 47-year-old festival's artistic director since 2013.

Foley did not corroborate the names but said in an email this afternoon (Oct. 9) that he was "hoping for board approval tonight and provost OK soon."

According to the unconfirmed report, the committee members will be:

  • Brad Foley, Dean of the School of Music and Dance and OBF Board Member
  • Royce Saltzman, Director Emeritus and OBF Board Member
  • Michael Anderson, OBF Director of Artistic Administration
  • Josh Gren, OBF Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Steve Vacchi, Professor of Bassoon, OBF Orchestra member, and OBF Board member
  • Sharon Paul, Professor of Choral Activities, Director of the University of Oregon Chamber Choir, an OBF ensemble
  • Peter Van de Graaff, Music Director KWAX Classical Radio, Program Director of the Beethoven Satellite Network, bass-baritone soloist