This past summer, and every summer since 2006, Dr. Nathan Leaf, NC State’s Director of Choral Activities, performed with musicians from around the world at the Oregon Bach Festival. Coming together in late June, over 200 professional singers and instrumentalist gather at the University of Oregon in Eugene for an intensive three weeks of music making that culminates in dozens of performances, master classes, lectures, and other musical events. Dr. Leaf spends his time there singing as a member of OBF’s Berwick Chorus, which is made up of 54 professional singers from around the country. Several of these singers, like Dr. Leaf, are also conductors and teachers.
This summer, Dr. Leaf took part in performances of Bach’s B Minor Mass and St. John’s Passion, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 96, and Brahms’ Schicksalslied. Repertoire from other years has ranged from compositions from the 16th and 17th centuries to modern works and new commissions composed especially for the festival. The Oregon Bach Festival is a special place for Dr. Leaf and a highlight of the summer every year, both professionally and personally. He met his wife there in 2009, and each time he goes back it’s an opportunity to make great music, to see many old friends and colleagues, and to meet new people. It’s a great way to spend the summer!