Eugene Symphony Presents a Celebration of All Things Local!

Posted on May 23, 2019

In its 3rd iteration, SymFest delivers a community festival focusing on Eugene’s performing arts, music, dance, food, and craft beverages 

EUGENE, OR (May 15, 2019) — The Eugene Symphony kicks off the summer season with SymFest, back for a third edition after its initial launch in 2016, now with more local flavor and fun than ever before. The orchestra partners with Ballet Fantastique, Eugene’s own rising stars Halie Loren, Tony Glausi, and more local musicians for an outstanding performance that combines orchestral music, jazz standards, and a little bit of rock n’ roll.  The concert is the centerpiece of an evening-long celebration of Eugene’s vibrant cultural scene – including food carts, beverage tastings, and music and dance before and after the show.

“This is my first SymFest so I wanted to create an event that serves as a celebration of our favorite things in Eugene, combining local food, drink, and fantastic performers. We’re so lucky to live in an area with such a multitude of incredible arts organizations and performers, so I really wanted to bring them together for a community celebration,” says Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.

“I am especially delighted to bring to the stage the versatility of Ballet Fantastique, the virtuosity of trumpeter Tony Glausi, and the angelic voice of Halie Loren.”

“It's an honor to be joining them for SymFest, not only because it's an incredible group of musicians with a visionary conductor, but also because the Eugene Symphony is creating a community celebration with this event,” says headlining vocalist Halie Loren, of Eugene. “The Symphony is shining the spotlight on so many different aspects of our city's artistic community and making something truly unique in the process. This sort of collaborative atmosphere feels immensely fulfilling and refreshing to me.”

A Eugene native, Loren says she’s seen Eugene’s music scene fluctuate over the past couple of decades but its culture of shared artistic experience has never faltered. “One thing has remain unchanged or even grown over the time I’ve been here though: the number of artists from all mediums choosing to make Eugene their home, and a population that appreciates the arts and all that they bring to the community. Because of this wealth of creative energy and the number of Eugenians who crave being around it, I feel like this city is a natural fit for more festivals. I'm excited to see SymFest bringing in some of that multi-medium, multi-collaboration energy that I hope to see more of in Eugene.” 

In addition to the professional headliners, SymFest will also provide a spotlight for youth talent to shine on the Silva Concert Hall stage. “I also wanted to showcase the amazing young talent we have in our community, and am so I’m happy to welcome members of the Eugene-Springfield Youth Symphony, South Eugene High School's The Dorians jazz choir, and percussionist David Lee to join our program,” says Lecce-Chong.

The concert program fits a different bill than more common Symphonic performances, allowing for a stage for all types of music and genres to collide. As an event that will reach audiences outside the more typical Symphony concertgoer, SymFest celebrates the power of shared artistic expression.

“Making art, and witnessing or participating in art, is an important part of being human. Art helps us see each other more clearly, and better understand ourselves,” says Loren. “I feel a deep sense of purpose to not only create, but to play even a tiny role in helping inspire others to create as well, because I believe that creativity has the power to change lives and open our hearts to empathy and greater possibility.”

What:    SymFest

When:   Saturday, June 1, 2019

Tastings and Lobby Entertainment start 5:00pm

Concert starts at 7:30pm Where: Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Lobby,

Silva Concert Hall, & Soreng Theatre Prices: Prices start at $25, College/Youth are $20

Discount of 15% off for groups of 10 or more

5:00 p.m. Pre-Concert Activities – Food, drink, music and more

The celebration begins before the concert with wine, beer, and cider tastings in the Hult Center Lobby featuring some of the region’s favorite craft beverage makers: ColdFire Brewing Company, Plank Town Brewing Company, Ninkasi Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, McKenzie Brewing Company, Claim 52 Brewing, Bauman's Cider, Nectar Creek, Silvan Ridge Winery, and King Estate Winery. Local marimba band Kutsinhira and other small ensembles will entertain attendees during the tastings. Ticket prices include five drink tickets for tastings of the ticket-buyers’ choice.

Additionally, a group of Eugene’s best food carts will be available to attendees, including Sammitch, Taco Intrusion, Dominican Delights, Oregon Wood Fired Pizza, Vanilla Jill’s, and Reality Kitchen! The will be parked outside on the concourse between the Hult Center and the Hotel Eugene. Attendees can bring their food into The Studio.

9:00 p.m. Post-Concert Activities – DJs, dancing, and a jazz lounge

After the concert, DJ Food Stamp will spin favorites for everyone on the dancefloor in the lobby. The Jazz Station will also turn the Soreng Theater into a cool jazz lounge to round out the showcase of Eugene’s dynamic cultural landscape.  

Interview Opportunities:

Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor

Halie Loren, vocalist

Tony Glausi, jazz trumpeter

The Dorians, jazz choir, South Eugene High School

For Interviews or High-Resolution Photos, Contact: Stephanie Domurat, , (541) 687-9487

About Francesco Lecce-Chong

A captivating presence on the podium, American conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong has garnered acclaim for his dynamic performances, commitment to innovative programming, and passion for community engagement. As Music Director & Conductor of the Eugene Symphony, Lecce-Chong follows in the path of renowned predecessors including Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. Active as a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras around the world including the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. More at

About Eugene Symphony

Now in its 53rd season, the Eugene Symphony is a nonprofit and 83-member orchestra based in Eugene, Oregon. Led by Music Director & Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, Eugene Symphony reaches more than 50,000 adults and children annually with live music performances. Recognized as a cornerstone of the performing arts in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley, Eugene Symphony pursues its mission of enriching lives through the power of music by presenting annual classical and pops concerts, as well as music education and community engagement programs, regularly commissioning and premiering new American works, and disseminating its performances via radio broadcasts and recordings. More at