Sat March 4 | 5:30 PM
Eugene Symphony Gala
Music | Joy | Connection
Join your Symphony community for an elegant evening of dinner, drinks, a live auction, music, and dancing.TICKETS
March 4, 2023 5:30 PM
Eugene Symphony Gala
Music | Joy | Connection
Join us for the social event of the season!
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 4, 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
Francesco Lecce-Chong, Music Director & Conductor
While celebrating the reunion of our community after too much time apart, you will help us support these meaningful Symphony programs and more:
- Youth Concerts: for students in grades 3-5, finally back in the Hult Center after three years!
- Private Lesson Program: free private instruction for deserving young instrumentalists.
- Encouraging Young Musicians to Achieve: ESA musicians support local school orchestras and bands.
- Free Summer Concert Series: outdoor concerts reaching 10,000 people of all ages each season.
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 Gretchen.email@example.com to find out more about proxy bidding.
These unique experiences will be presented for bidding during the live auction.
If you cannot attend the gala and would like to make a proxy bid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maestro for a Moment:
Win the chance to enjoy a private conducting lesson with Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong and show off your skills by conducting at the Symphony’s Summer Concert at the Cuthbert. Complete your evening with an elegant dinner at Marché Restaurant, and take home a keepsake conductor’s baton along with a beautiful handmade quilt by Paula Pottinger. A private one-on-one conducting lesson with Francesco the week before the concert.
Donated by: Francesco Lecce-Chong, Paula Pottinger, Eugene Symphony Association
April 28, 2023
Generously sponsored by Joanna and Otto Radke, this exclusive rain or shine event will feature Scotch whisky curation by Ian Kerr, Principal Timpani and noted beverage expert. Relax and socialize with friends in an elegant outdoor patio space, and relish in the diverse flavor profiles of each tasting while learning the art and balance of a fine whisky!
Donated by: Joanna and Otto Radke, Francesco Lecce-Chong, Eugene Symphony Association
Romance in Seattle with Marin Alsop:
Saturday, June 17 - Sunday June 18, 2023
Meet and greet legendary American conductor (and Eugene Symphony Conductor Laureate) Marin Alsop, the first woman to win the Koussevitzky Prize for conducting and the first conductor to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. See Alsop conduct Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet and Bernstein’s Songfest on June 17 with tickets in the Seattle Symphony’s President’s Box. On June 18, enjoy Seattle Opera’s performance of Bound by Huang Ro, a new work that tells the story of a Vietnamese family adjusting to life in America. Choose your culinary adventure with two $100 gift cards to Heavy Restaurant Group which includes Purple, Barrio, Fiasco, Pablo y Pablo, and Meet the Moon restaurants, and enjoy two free passes to visit the Seattle Art Museum’s extensive collection.
Donated by: Marin Alsop, The Seattle Symphony, The Seattle Opera, Seattle Art Museum
Santa Rosa Getaway:
Monday, May 8-Wednesday, May 10
Visit beautiful Santa Rosa, California, to see Maestro Lecce-Chong conduct the Santa Rosa Symphony on Monday, May 8 as they perform Mussorgsky, Strauss, and a world premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The trip will be enhanced by a wine tasting on Tuesday, May 9 with Francesco at Donum Vineyard, as well as a $100 gift card to the popular Russian River Brewing.
Donated by: Francesco Lecce-Chong, The Santa Rosa Symphony, Joanna and Otto Radke
Brunch with the Maestro:
September 17, 2023 | 10:00am-12:00pm
Join Eugene Symphony’s Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong for brunch on September 17, 2023, at Sweet Cheeks Winery to celebrate the beginning of the Eugene Symphony’s 59th Season! Enjoy gorgeous views, sumptuous dining, and live music performed by Eugene Symphony musicians.
Donated by: Francesco Lecce-Chong
Guided by former Olympian pole-vaulter and licensed pilot Piotrek Buciarski, take an aerial tour of Crater Lake in his Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft. After circling the incredible views provided by Oregon’s only national park, land in Sunriver Airport to dine on Peruvian and Mexican cuisine along the Deschutes River at the Hola! Sunriver Restaurant. After lunch, the flight back to Eugene will feature views of the gems of the Cascade Mountains: Three Sisters, Mount Bachelor, and Broken Top.
Donated by: Piotrek Buciarski
Field of Dreams:
This lucky winner will enjoy a private suite with seating for up to 20 for an Emeralds game. Show off your skills by throwing the first pitch in your customized 2022 Emeralds Championship Jersey, and have the opportunity to join the radio broadcast during the 3rd inning and belt out “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. The day will include a behind-the-scenes tour of PK Park, and the winner will also receive four front-row field level tickets to a San Francisco Giants game at Oracle Park in the 2023 season. Play ball!
Donated by: The Eugene Emeralds
Subject to availability in calendar year 2023
For the nature lovers in the crowd, don’t miss your chance to enjoy a half day of rafting on the McKenzie River with one of the premier whitewater rafting companies in Oregon. Ouzel Outfitters is known for their knowledgeable and friendly river guides, and specializes in creating one of a kind trips that feature the beautiful waterways and ecosystems of Oregon with a dash of adventure! This fun rafting trip is splashy and active but accessible to beginners. After your day outdoors, spend a relaxing evening at the beautiful and historic Eagle Rock Lodge in Vida, Oregon. Built in 1946 and nestled on almost five acres of gardens, forest, and riverside, this romantic bed and breakfast offers the best in McKenzie River lodging.
Donated by: Ouzel Outfitters, Eagle Rock Lodge
NYC Classical Plus:
Take a trip to the Big Apple to relish in the delights of a classical music themed weekend getaway. Enjoy an exclusive 1.5 hour tour of the Steinway piano factory in Queens, NYC. Plan your trip around the performances that most intrigue you at Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic, because this package comes with two tickets to each! Enjoy access to rarely seen photos and recordings from the legendary history of Carnegie Hall during a private tour guided by the Carnegie Hall Archivist.
Donated by: Carnegie Hall, The New York Philharmonic, Steinway & Sons
REVIEW FROM PREVIOUS PACKAGE WINNERS:
“We just got back from the Steinway tour. It was amazing!! The tour alone would have been worth the whole trip to New York. Warren and I both loved it so much!” – Kathy Barnes
Pied-à-terre in Provence:
Enjoy a one-week stay at the beautiful pied-à-terre in Nyons, located in the heart of olive and wine country in southeastern France. The flat is just minutes on foot to the center of town with its shops, bakeries, restaurants, and a town square with cafes and a wonderful cinema. The area is a wine lover’s paradise, with many opportunities for tours and tastings in the famous wine villages of the Rhône Valley. Before you depart, enjoy an elegant dinner at Marché Restaurant with its owner, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, who will give you the inside scoop on what to do during your stay.
Donated by: Stephanie Pearl Kimmel and Phillip Kimmel
Mustang Mania with Concertmaster Searmi Park:
July, August, or September of 2023
Enjoy a day trip to the ranch of Concertmaster Searmi Park (1 hour and 45 minutes from Eugene) where you'll be fully immersed within a herd of horses. Engage with the horses at liberty (meaning no ropes or tack) and learn from Searmi about nonverbal, two-way communication by using energetic body language. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the garden, orchard, and pasture, and dip your toes in the creek. Finish the day with Korean BBQ prepared by none other than Searmi herself.
Donated by: Concertmaster Searmi Park
Limited to 8 people
Gifts from the Heart:
Our Eugene Symphony exists because of the support of donors like you. Ticket sales from concerts cover less than half of the costs of presenting all of our onstage, community engagement, and education programs. We give in honor of all the music educators, teachers, mentors, and role models who help make this community unique. The gift you make at the gala will help keep the arts in our community flourishing for generations to come.
NYC Opera Gala at Carnegie and the Met:
Hit the high notes with a pair of tickets to the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s gala concert in Carnegie Hall on Sunday, October 29, 2023. The still-being-determined cast usually features the crème de la crème of American opera singers, with names like Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Michael Fabiano, and Stephen Costello returning year after year to perform with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Enjoy exclusive backstage access to a closed rehearsal in Carnegie Hall in advance of Sunday’s performance, take in a show with a pair of tickets to the Metropolitan Opera over the weekend, and bookmark your operatic endeavor with a private tour of the Metropolitan Opera Archives.
Donated by: Richard Tucker Music Foundation, The Metropolitan Opera, The Metropolitan Opera Archives, Gretchen Farrar
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.
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.
About Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong
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 Chloe Tula
American harpist Chloe Tula has been widely recognized as a rising talent in the classical music world. She was recently named Principal Harpist of the Omaha Symphony, and begins performing in that role in the 2022-23 season.
Uniquely at ease as both a featured soloist and orchestral musician, Ms. Tula has enjoyed a varied career spanning across the United States, most recently having completed a three-year fellowship at the New World Symphony (NWS), in Miami Beach, Florida, where she was lauded as a "standout" with "keen musicianship and elegance" (South Florida Classical Review).
In demand for the musicality and clarity she brings to the orchestra, her many orchestral engagements have included performances with San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, and The Knights (NYC), in addition to her positions at the Omaha Symphony and the New World Symphony. She has had the privilege of having worked with conductors from all over the world, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, John Williams, and Stephane Dénève, and appeared in performances alongside artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Itzhak Perlman, Johannes Moser, Augustin Hadelich, and many others. Since relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2020, she has enjoyed numerous opportunities playing with the many ensembles of the area, including the San Francisco Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Opera San Jose, California Symphony, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Santa Rosa Symphony.
Ms. Tula’s summer festival appearances have spanned across the country, as well. In addition to serving on faculty and performing at Festival Napa Valley, she has performed at the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music, Tanglewood Music Center, and Aspen Music Festival and School.
Since making her solo debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the age of sixteen, Ms. Tula has established herself as a prizewinning harpist. She was a top prize winner in the 2019 Ima Hogg Competition, resulting in her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony, performing Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. In 2018, she made her concerto debut with the New World Symphony, in highly acclaimed performances of Glière’s Concerto for Harp. In 2014, she won the Anne Adams Awards, a biennial national competition for solo harpists sponsored by the American Harp Society, as well as first prize in the Mildred Milligan Harp Competition.
A Wisconsin native, Ms. Tula received her Bachelor’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she studied with Paula Page, former Principal Harpist of the Houston Symphony. Prior to that, she studied with Danis Kelly, former Principal Harpist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Opera. Ms. Tula plays on a Lyon & Healy Salzedo model from 2015 and a Style 100 model from 2018. When not playing the harp, she enjoys adding to her shoe collection, tending to her culinary garden, hosting dinner parties, and spending time with her husband, Francesco, and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Hibiki.
About Auctioneer Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson has raised millions of dollars in hundreds of live and virtual events up and down the West Coast. His clients range from public schools to women’s shelters and everything in between, with the common mission of helping those who need to raise money from a wide-ranging client base.
Eric provides unlimited consulting, and is sole auctioneer: When you contract with Eric Auctions, Eric will run your auction. He has dual degrees from Duke University, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, in addition to being fully bonded and holding the Benefit Auction Specialist designation from the National Auctioneers Association.
His greatest compliment has been from the client who told him, “You have the perfect combination of kindness and tenacity.”
About DJ Olive DelSol
Olive DelSol is more than a DJ, she creates immersive worlds of sound brought to life on the dance floor.
DelSol’s background as a musician, performer, and teacher informs a vast range of musical knowledge that she brings to the dance floor. She earned a degree in Audio Engineering from LCC in 2015 and Electronic Music Composition from Berklee School of Music in 2020. From club residency to ecstatic dance, weddings to events, DelSol’s set lists are creative and professional.
She uses elements of timbre from many worldwide genres as a palette to set the atmosphere for social gatherings. Responsive to audience suggestions, she weaves an unforgettable night from the music you truly want to hear mixed with deep cuts to bring an aura of mystery and novelty. Explore sonic space with Olive, Dj mixmaster.
About MC Brittany Quick-Warner
Brittany has proudly served on the staff of the Eugene Chamber for the past 9 years and has had the honor of serving as the CEO since 2017. Brittany’s driving passion for this work revolves around helping individuals, businesses and our community meet their fullest potential. A chronic optimist and diligent problem solver, Brittany sees the incredible opportunity we have in front of us to celebrate the beauty and wonderful businesses in our community- and overcome the wicked challenges together. Brittany currently represents the business community on various boards and commissions throughout the region and serves at a national level as a board member for both the Western Association of Chamber Executives and the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. She currently fills almost all of her not-so-free time chasing and taking obnoxious pictures with her Covid-puppy, Bogey.
Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at check in and throughout the event.
Purchase Raffle Tickets to enter into a drawing for 3 unique packages!
Raffle Tickets will be included in your Gala Packet and you may choose which drawing to enter. If you purchase multiple tickets, you may enter into more than one drawing and increase your chances at winning one of these great prizes!
Raffle Package One: Eugene Symphony Season Tickets
- 2 Full-Season Subscriptions in A-level orchestra (valued at $1,008).
- Full Season Parking Pass at the Hult Center Garage.
- Backstage tour and onstage seating for a dress rehearsal in the 2023/2024 season.
- Post-concert dinner with a featured soloist in the 2023/2024 season.
Details: Raffle winner wins both subscriptions—can renew their current seats or upgrade to the Orchestra A section if applicable, or renew at a lower level and keep their season seats if they prefer. No exchanges.
Raffle Package Two: Eugene Ticket Voucher Bundle
- Chamber Music at Beall
- Eugene Ballet
- Eugene Concert Choir
- Oregon Bach Festival
- Oregon Contemporary Theatre
- Ballet Fantastique
- Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum
- Very Little Theatre
- Cottage Theater
Raffle Package Three: Portland ticket Voucher Bundle
- Oregon Symphony
- Japanese Garden
- Portland Art Museum
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