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April 7, 2005

OAMC 2006 Concert Festival Fact Sheet

* 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.

* This year's concert is the 12th annual festival concert; the first was in 1995.

* This year's concerts will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2006, at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 10501 SE Market St., Portland

* The concerts are free; because of limited seating, tickets must be reserved by calling (503) 841-8492 or by visiting the OAMC web site at www.oamc.org.

* The group presents sacred music concerts that include music of the masters, hymns, gospel and spirituals.

* Some 200 men are expected to sing in this year's event. Members come from more than 65 churches mainly in Oregon and Washington.

* World-renowned choral conductor Dr. Anton Armstrong, of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., this year (2006) will guest conduct most of the concert. http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/music/stolaf_choir/conductor.html

Dr. Anton Armstrong

Dr. Anton Armstrong
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* Earlier this year he was awarded the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the single largest award given to an individual for great teaching, by Baylor University. http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=38383

* Armstrong is known for his work with youth and children's choruses. He began his tenure as conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Youth Choral Academy in June 1998.

* In addition to the festival chorus, Dr. Armstrong has requested an ensemble of about 40 voices to prepare and perform a few more challenging pieces

* Two new arrangements commissioned for this concert will have their world premier during this year's concerts. Dr. Robert Scholz, Professor Emeritus of Music at St. Olaf College, who retired last year, renowned for his arranging work, created the arrangements.

* The commissioned pieces are arrangements of: "Into My Heart," and, "O Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus," by Emily Elliott and Timothy Richard Matthews.

* The accompanist this year is Kraig Scott, DMA, professor of organ, harpsichord, and music history at Walla Walla College, College Place, Wash. http://www.wwc.edu/academics/departments/music/faculty/scott.php

* Two to five ensembles ranging from eight to about 20 men join the festival chorus each year; the concert includes performances by the ensembles.

* The men rehearse for about two and a half months prior to the festivals in small groups and on their own, frequently with recorded rehearsal tracks on CD.

* The complete group does not assemble until the final rehearsal before a concert.

* Singers are truck drivers, physicians, contractors, teachers, students, auto mechanics, computer engineers, photographers, among other professions.

* Expenses are met entirely from donations and sales of recordings. A widening group of supporters donates much time and energy to the organizational aspects.

* The chorus was first formed with about 20 men in 1994 to perform for Easter worship services at East Salem Seventh-day Adventist Church.

* Lou Wildman, a retired physician and former high school and church choir director, was asked to direct the first group.

* That first Easter season was followed by a request to provide the finale for the summer camp meeting of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Feeling that their voices would be lost in the campground's huge tent, they sent out a word of invitation for other men to join them in rehearsal - and were immensely surprised when 112 responded.

* Inspiration led to a festival concert the following spring, anticipated to be a one-time event.

* Officially named the Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus in 1996.

* Lou Wildman of Salem is the musical conductor; David Schmidt of Oregon City is the president. The administrative team is headed by Giselle Hepker, Executive Director, of Walla Walla, Wash.

* The chorus has performed in Oregon and Washington, and other parts of the world.

* In 2000, nearly 100 members sang in Toronto's SkyDome for over 50,000 people from around the world who were attending the Quinquennial Session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

* They've performed with the 150-year-old Vienna Male Chorus Society, for whom Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, and Bruckner composed, at the International Choral Festival in Gladstone, Oregon.

* In 2001, 37 chorus members and seven instrumentalists traveled to East Africa to sing for evangelistic meetings in Mwanza, Tanzania, which were broadcast on worldwide television.

* In 2001, 75 singers and nine instrumentalists performed for the Adventist-laymen's Services and Industries (ASI) National Convention in Sacramento, Calif., which was broadcast on worldwide television.

Media contact:
Sam Vigil Jr.
503.251.6266 x7101 (Day)
503.661.2585 (Hm/Eve)
503.679.0649 (Mobile)
oamcpr@brasstacks.net

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