Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus
See also the OAMC History (below)
The Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus (OAMC) is a group of Christian men who join in worship, praise, and public sharing of their faith through music.
OAMC presents a festival concert of sacred and classical music in the spring of each year. From time to time the chorus accepts other invitations, one of which took them to the continent of Africa where they sang in a great soccer stadium, packed to capacity. (see history). Prior to each event, each of their 300 plus singers is invited to participate. A characteristic festival will include 150 to 250 men on stage.
The members come from more than 65 churches in Oregon and Washington, with some from as far away as Arkansas, Nebraska and Tennessee. They rehearse for about two-and-a-half months prior to the festivals in small groups or on their own. Each participant is provided a rehearsal CD. Because the members come from such a wide geographic area, the complete group does not assemble until the final rehearsal the day before the festival.
The singers, from all walks of life, include truck drivers, physicians, contractors, teachers, students, auto mechanics, computer engineers, accountants, photographers, among other professions.
Expenses are met entirely from charitable contributions and sales of recordings. A widening group of supporters donates much time and energy to the organizational aspects.
David Wyman is the interim conductor and artistic director; and David Schmidt is president. Louise Craig, executive director, heads up a team of volunteers in preparing for concerts and festivals.
Twenty Years of Ministry
The story of OAMC
Video: A history of the Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus (3 min.) Video: "The Power of One" - The power of individual decisions underlies the strength of OAMC.
In 1994, about 20 men assembled at the request of Pastor David Schmidt in Salem, Oregon to sing for worship services during the Easter season. He asked Lou Wildman to conduct.
They were so well received, a request soon followed to provide the finale at the camp meeting of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Feeling that 20 voices would be lost in the campground's huge outdoor pavilion, Wildman networked with other choral groups, hoping for 50 singers. On the night of the finale, 112 singers filled the stage, bringing the audience to its feet at the conclusion with the newly commissioned Four Hymns of the Second Coming. In July of 2014, OAMC celebrated the 20th anniversary of that event.
In the glow of that first camp meeting, Wildman and Schmidt planned a festival concert the following spring, expecting it to be a one-time event. Instead, the Festival has taken on a life of its own, with annual concerts in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Other Northwest concerts have included Salem, Eugene, and Medford, Oregon, Spokane and Chehalis, Washington.
Officially named the Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus in 1996, the group presents sacred concerts that include music of the masters, hymns, gospel songs and spirituals.
In 2000, 115 members of the Chorus sang in Toronto's SkyDome for more than 50,000 people. They were joined by 35 singers from the greater Ontario region. It was here that they received the initial invitation to go to Romania.
Later that season, at the International Choral Festival in Gladstone, Oregon, they performed with the world renowned 150-year-old Vienna Male Chorus Society.
In the summer of 2001, a smaller contingent of the chorus and instrumentalists traveled to East Africa to sing for evangelistic meetings in Mwanza, Tanzania. Later that summer, 75 singers and nine instrumentalists traveled to Sacramento, California for the Adventist-Laymen's Services and Industries (ASI) National Convention. Both of these events were broadcast on worldwide television.
In the fall of 2004 and again in 2006, the chorus sang for the annual convention of Maranatha Volunteers International, held in the Greater Portland area.
In April 2009, its 15th year, OAMC joined with over 100 Romanian men in a concert tour in Romania. In 2010, the Romanian chorus traveled to the USA for a joint tour of the Northwest and an appearance in Atlanta. It was here that an invitation to South Africa was presented, and in 2012, singers from three continents and seven nations toured that country together.
In 2014 Dave Wyman became the interim conductor after the retirement of co-founder and conductor Lou Wildman.
In the fall of 2014 OAMC returned for a concert tour of Romania after a planned tour of Ukraine had to be cancelled because of civil unrest.