The Oregon Bach Festival has named mezzo-soprano Janelle McCoy to be the festival’s new executive director, according to an email sent out Friday to OBF insiders.
An official announcement is expected on Monday.
McCoy most recently worked as executive director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She is expected to start work in late January, and will take over from clarinetist Michael Anderson, who has been interim exec since former BBC producer John Evans quietly left the festival late in 2014.
She previously worked for the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. A note on their website from 2014 says:
McCoy was born and raised in a rural North Carolina town of about 500 in population near the Appalachian Mountains. Although neither of her parents was musical, she was drawn to music at an early age and began studying piano when she was four years old with the wife of a minister — “the only musician in our small town,” she recalled.
“Thankfully, our school district had a visionary band program. While most were focused on splashy marching bands for football season, our teachers gave us transcriptions of classical music for wind and percussion orchestras. We had no string program.” Until she auditioned for the lead in “The Music Man,” no one knew that she had a fine, strong voice that could be heard without amplification at the back of the auditorium.
A story that same year on Philly.com calls her a “conciliatory presence.”
A slightly dated-looking bio on her website is all about her singing career; besides noting that she’s blonde-haired, blue-eyed, 5-foot-5 and 105 pounds, it says she sang under such conductors as Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, and Donald Runnicles.