The Oregon Chamber Players was founded in 1995 by Timoteus Racz, along with his wife, Victoria Racz. Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our OCP musician family and board! For 20 years we provided our musicians and audience the widest selection of composers and instrumentation for each concert – from early Baroque to contemporary (including commissioned works and premier performances) and everything from a solo serenade to a symphony – all conductorless! We were innovative with our concepts, being the first in the region to present interactive children’s concerts with an Instrument Petting Zoo; Audience Select Concerts; and Mystery Pieces, among others. We also featured a unique Student Apprenticeship Program where talented music students had the opportunity to perform Mock Auditions, receive private coaching from our players, and rehearse with us. In 1999 our dedication to music education was intensified by the creation of the Junior Symphony of Vancouver, “musically bridging the gap between our communities”.
After our Founder and Artistic Director, Timoteus, died unexpectedly in April 2012, our OCP Family rallied and we carried on in his honor. He had always led our musicians from his chair, and we had a rotating crew of OCP violinists, Team Timi, that would take over those duties for each concert. (Alphabetically listed: Joy Fabos, Erin Ferree, Tatiana Kolchanova and Jody Morrissette.) For every rehearsal and concert, we left an empty chair in his memory, and one of his fabulous fedoras, suit jackets or other personal item would be left on it. Audience members and musicians routinely left flowers and notes on ‘Tim’s Chair’ for our concerts. We continued until 2014 when we made the decision to disband the OCP. The JSV continues to this day under the direction of Tim’s friend and long-time OCP musician, Collin Heade, and our small ensembles continue as well.