Sat March 16 | 5:30 PM

Eugene Symphony Gala

An elegant evening of dining, dancing, and supporting your Eugene Symphony


March 16, 2024 5:30 PM

Eugene Symphony Gala

Maylian Pak, Host
Dave Moss, Host and Auctioneer
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director & Conductor
Evynne Hollens, Guest artist
Herb Merker & Marcy Hammock, Advocate for the Arts Award Recipients
Eugene Symphony Guild, Honorees

The Board of Directors of the Eugene Symphony Association cordially invites you to

The Eugene Symphony Gala

Enjoy celebratory cocktails, elegant dinner, live auction, DJ, and dancing, as we uplift our collective commitment to enriching lives through the power of music.

Saturday, March 16, 2023

The Graduate Eugene
66 E 6th Ave., Eugene, OR 97404

  • 5:30 pm: Registration and Cocktail Hour
  • 6:30 pm: Dinner, Live Auction, Dancing with DJ

Festive Attire

Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director & Conductor

Co-hosted by Maylian Pak and Dave Moss

Featuring performances by special guest Evynne Hollens and Eugene Symphony musicians

Honoring Advocate for the Arts award recipients Herb Merker & Marcy Hammock and celebrating the legacy of the Eugene Symphony Guild.

While celebrating our community, you will help us support these meaningful Symphony programs and more:

  • Youth Concerts: In the Hult Center for over 2,800 elementary students grades 3-5.
  • Private Lesson Program: Free private instruction for deserving students in public schools.
  • Encouraging Young Musicians to Achieve: ESA Teaching Artists support local school orchestras and bands through small-group lessons.
  • Free Summer Concert Series: Outdoor performances reaching 5,000 people of all ages each season.

Purchase tickets here.

Are you a first time Gala attendee?

What is a Gala?

A Gala is a fundraising event AND a great way to spend time with other people who love the Symphony and enjoy a great party. The evening includes a live auction, cocktails, live entertainment, a DJ, dancing, socializing, and a delicious dinner catered by the Graduate Eugene. It will be a night to remember amongst friends and fellow Eugenians who enjoy the opportunity to give back to support live music in our community.

What can I expect at this event?

Aside from the dining, dancing, and live music, there will be an engaging live auction where guests are invited to donate to Symphony programs. Facilitated by a professional auctioneer, auction items are one-of-a-kind experiences that you won’t see anywhere else–from a trip to Santa Rosa to go wine tasting with Eugene Symphony’s Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, to a ride in a private plane circling view of Crater Lake National Park piloted by a former Olympian pole-vaulter, there is an experience for every adventurer. Learn more about our Gala Gift packages below.

Who attends a Gala?

Gala attendees like to get dressed up, have a fun night out, and make meaningful contributions towards supporting the future of live classical music in this community. This Symphony celebration benefits our onstage programming, community engagement, and music education programs.

What if I’ll be out of town? Can I still participate in the live auction?

Yes, you can! Contact our Development Director Gretchen Farrar via email at to find out more about proxy bidding.

Auction Packages

There are many unique experiences available for bidding this season, including:

  • Maestro for a Moment, where you will win a private conducting lesson and conduct Eugene Symphony at the 2024 Summer Concert
  • O Fortuna! where you'll be the VIP guests of Eugene Symphony Music Director Laureate Giancarlo Guerro at Nashville Symphony's performance of Carl Orff's epic masterwork, Carmina Burana
  • Luxury Shangri-La in Singapore, where you'll live in luxury for seven days nestled within 15 acres of tropical landscaped gardens.
  • and many more!

To view more detailed information of our wonderful auction packages please visit our Greater Giving page by clicking here.

If you cannot attend the gala and would like to make a proxy bid, please contact

Additional Information

First time attending Eugene Symphony’s Gala?

We’re so glad to welcome you into our community! Be sure to check the box and let us know if this is your first Symphony Gala so our Gala Committee can welcome you at the event.

Singles welcome!

Are you single and ready to mingle? Or, are you and your partner looking to expand your social network and make new connections? Our musician-hosted mixer tables may be just the place for you! Join a mixer-table of dynamic community members just like you who are also looking to make new friends and build new relationships over a shared love of classical music.

Where can I park?

Event parking is available at the Graduate for $8/car. Free parking is available at local parking structures such as the Hult and Parcade garages.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are available. If your company is interested in Sponsoring the Eugene Symphony Gala, please contact Development Director Gretchen Farrar via email at

About Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong

Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director & Conductor

Francesco Lecce-Chong has been described by the press as a “fast rising talent in the music world” with “the real gift” and recognized for his dynamic performances, fresh programming, deep commitment to commissioning and performing new music as well as to community engagement. Mr. Lecce-Chong has appeared with orchestras worldwide including the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic and collaborated with top soloists such as Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman. Francesco Lecce-Chong is the Music Director of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon, and the Santa Rosa Symphony, performing at the Green Music Center in Northern California.

In 2019, Mr. Lecce-Chong debuted in subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony. The San Francisco Chronicle called his conducting “first rate” praising the “vitality and brilliance of the music-making he drew from members of the San Francisco Symphony.” Other recent subscription debuts include the Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic and Xi’An Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lecce-Chong also returned to conduct the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Milwaukee and San Diego Symphony. In 2019, he also debuted with the New York Philharmonic as part of the legendary Young People’s Concert Series.

Mr. Lecce-Chong’s 2022/23 seasons includes debut performances with the Kansas City Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, a return to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a European appearance at the renowned Enescu Festival with the Romanian Radio Orchestra. He continues a Rachmaninoff symphonic cycle in Santa Rosa, presents the second act of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde in Eugene, and leads the world premieres of new major orchestral works by Ellen Taafe Zwillich and Angélica Negrón.

In the previous seasons that were heavily impacted by the pandemic, Mr. Lecce-Chong created and led a series of virtual performances with both the Santa Rosa and the Eugene Symphony. The full season of performances was streamed for free to thousands of enthusiastic viewers around the world. The Santa Rosa Symphony also reached over two million households in the Bay Area through its “Santa Rosa Symphony Presents” TV broadcasts through local PBS. The programming included over 20 works by living composers and a groundbreaking partnership with the Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwillich, culminating in a recording of her music by the Santa Rosa Symphony released in September 2022 on the Delos label.

During his tenure as Music Director of two orchestras, Mr. Lecce-Chong has introduced a number of ambitious projects. He launched the “First Symphony Project” that consists of the Santa Rosa and Eugene Symphonies co-commissioning a large-scale work from a young American composer each season, complete with residencies in the communities. The Eugene Symphony has embarked on a three-part concert presentation of Wagner’s complete Tristan und Isolde and the Santa Rosa Symphony launched a cycle of the large orchestral works of Rachmaninoff paired with legendary film composers entitled “Rachmaninoff and the Hollywood Sound”. Last season, Mr. Lecce-Chong led the world premieres of five major orchestral works including an ecology-inspired work by Grammy-winning composer Michael Daugherty, a work for mariachi and orchestra by Enrico Chapela, and a dramatic work with actors based on the life of Olympic athlete Steve Prefontaine by David Schiff. He continues to build partnerships with local art institutions, schools and businesses to create original, multi-disciplinary experiences for his audiences.

Before his music directorships, Mr. Lecce-Chong served as Associate Conductor with the Milwaukee Symphony under Edo de Waart and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck. He has also been building his opera credentials as staff conductor with the Santa Fe Opera and conducted Madama Butterfly at the Florentine Opera with the Milwaukee Symphony.

Mr. Lecce-Chong is the recipient of several distinctions, including the prestigious Solti Foundation Award. Trained also as a pianist and composer, he completed his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Otto-Werner Mueller after attending the Mannes College of Music and Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Italy. He has had the privilege of being mentored and supported by celebrated conductors including Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, Edo de Waart, Manfred Honeck, Donald Runnicles and Michael Tilson Thomas.

About Guest Artist Evynne Hollens

Guest Artist Evynne Hollens

Evynne Hollens is a singer, writer and artistic director primarily known for her online videos and live performances. With more than 50 million views on YouTube, and over 115,000 monthly Spotify listeners, she releases music videos; from original content, to popular musical theatre and Disney covers. Evynne is the co-owner and Artistic Director of One Voice Productions, a digital media company that creates entertainment and educational content.

After four years performing at sea with Royal Caribbean Productions, she co-created and is featured onscreen in Voices, a virtual and live a cappella show, currently running on the largest theatrical venue at sea, RCCL’s Wonder of the Seas.

In the 2017 Holiday season, Evynne made her Broadway debut as a featured performer alongside her husband, digital creator and educator, Peter Hollens, in Home for the Holidays, a LIVE Christmas concert at The August Wilson Theatre.

In 2001, Hollens co-founded Divisi, the University of Oregon’s award-winning female-identifying a cappella group, featured in the best-selling book and inspiration for the film Pitch Perfect. She won a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for “Best Arrangement” of Divisi’s popular cover of Usher’s “YEAH!” which was featured on the Season 2 Finale episode of Glee.

A proud member of Actors’ Equity and native of the Pacific Northwest, Evynne currently resides in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and two children. She can be found on many stages, from the Hult Center with Eugene Symphony, to Oregon Contemporary Theatre, and regularly at The Shedd Institute for the Arts where she has created The Contemporary Songbook Project, a musical revue-style concert series celebrating the best of the new generation of songwriters working in the world of post-modern musical theatre.

A proud member of Actors' Equity, Evynne is currently writing a bilingual musical entitled Milagro, inspired by a miraculous true story, with Portland based singer-songwriter Anna Gilbert, Latin GRAMMY-winning artist Gaby Moreno and Seattle playwright Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth.

About Co-host Maylian Pak

Maylian Pak

Originally from Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Maylian Pak is a second generation Korean American. She currently resides in Eugene, Oregon and works for Oregon Community Foundation as Director of Donor Relations. Maylian completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geography, studying at the University of Mary Washington and the University of Oregon. Prior to joining Oregon Community Foundation, Maylian worked for the Eugene Symphony and the DC-based company SPOT Image Corporation. Maylian is the past president of both the University of Oregon Alumni Association and Eugene Round Table Club. She also serves on the boards of the Advancement Network and the Oregon Geographic Information Council.

Maylian has been honored as a Eugene-Springfield 20 Under 40 rising business star and was one of 48 nonprofit practitioners selected to participate in the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy at AmEx's headquarters in New York City.

In her free time, Maylian enjoys running, cooking, and spending time with her family and two dogs.

About Co-host, Auctioneer, and Executive Director Dave Moss

Dave Moss Headshot

Acclaimed and boldly creative arts leader Dave Moss is the incoming Executive Director of the Eugene Symphony Association (ESA). Prior to his appointment in Eugene, Moss was the President and CEO of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra (HSO) where he worked with members of the orchestra, the Board of Directors, the administration, and volunteers to strengthen all aspects of the organization’s artistic, fiscal, governance, education activities, and community engagement. He is credited with leading the diversification of symphonic programming through his work with the Hawaiian and Pasifika communities and led the organizations launch of their digital productions, reaching over 500,000 households through streaming and regional television, and receiving an Emmy nomination. During his tenure he was named one of Hawai’i’s Most Admired Leaders by Pacific Business News. Dave was previously the Executive Director of Haymarket Opera Company, one of Chicago’s most dynamic arts organizations having garnered international acclaim for its performances during his leadership, even hailed as “finely played, carefully sung, lovingly detailed” by The New York Times. A recovering violist, Dave performed at venues from Disney Concert Hall to Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden to Coachella, and was equally at home performing with The Who, Kayne West, Itzhak Perlman, Renee Fleming, or in the Broadway production of Hamilton. Moss holds degrees from the University of Chicago, The Juilliard School, and Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. He joins the Eugene, Oregon community with his wife Dr. Katherine Lynch Moss, their daughter Bridget, and an Australian Shephard Poodle, Lena Blue.

Health & Safety

The health and safety of Eugene Symphony audience members, musicians, and staff members has been and will always be our top priority. We strongly welcome and encourage patrons who wish to continue wearing masks while attending performances to do so. We want all of our attendees to feel comfortable and accepted in your choice. You take care of you, we'll take care of the music and ensuring that your experience attending a Eugene Symphony concert remains exceptional.

For the most up to date health and safety protocols for our concerts, visit our Eugene Symphony Safety page.

LOCATION: The Graduate Eugene Hotel