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Lisa Muci Eckhoff, smiling, sits at a laptop.

Behind the scenes of ORCMA's work is Executive Director Lisa Muci Eckhoff.  "She is irreplaceable," said President James Rome.  Since 2018, Lisa has been an integral part of the association's numerous advancements.  Grant funds have more than quadrupled, donations have increased, orchestra musicians received a significant pay increase, and perhaps most significantly, the association received a Tennessee State Supplement "acknowledging continued service to community through the arts during the year-long COVID-19 pandemic, and recognizing that the arts can improve — not merely reflect —  broader economic conditions at the state and local levels."

Lisa and former Music Director Dan Allcott collaborated in 2020 to guide the association forward with strategic planning that enabled every concert to include music by composers from underrepresented groups.   To date, music by >60 composers and arrangers from underrepresented groups has been performed by the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, the Oak Ridge Chorus, and guest musicians on the Chamber Music Series.

Following Allcott's departure from ORCMA after a 12-year tenure, Lisa managed communications, publicity, logistics, and operations of a nation-wide music director search that yielded a record number of 53 applicants, with four guest conductor finalists each directing the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in concert.  Lisa and President Rome instituted "innovative & inclusive classical music" to set the tone of the "new era" with Régulo Stabilito who was hired as the new Music Director in December, 2022.

"Aside from working with ORCMA's Board of Directors and being engaged with the talented musicians and enthusiastic audience, one of my favorite things about ORCMA is that all programming for youths is free," said Muci Eckhoff.  One such program is the Summer Strings Camp, founded in 2022, by Dr. Adolf King, designed and administered by Muci Eckhoff, and directed by youth educator Martha Damiano.  The camp supports community engagement, relevance, representation, diversity, equity, and inclusion in youth music education.  Unique to the area, the camp offers free private lessons to participants, ensemble performance, music theory and listening sessions, and engagement with professionals from various roles in the music industry.  The camp is currently supported by individual donations and a grant from the Oak Ridge Fund for Achieving Community Excellence, an affiliate fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.

Prior to joining ORCMA, Lisa served on the Boards of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and the ARISE Choral Ensemble.  She was Acting Executive Director and Program Director of Arts Partners Wichita (a Young Audiences affiliate), Affiliate Director of Kansas Wolf Trap Early Learning through the Arts, and a tenured core violinist serving in every titled position in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.  Most recently, Lisa performed as a member of the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra during its 2023 tour to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and in the Amadeus Chamber Ensemble performing at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Knoxville, TN.  She has also performed in the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra and on ORCMA's Chamber Music Series.  Lisa is an Advisory Board Member of the Mosaic Music Anthology Project at the University of Tennesee, Knoxville.

Lisa is an inagural recipient of a Sphinx Organization MPower Artist Grant that supported her participation in the Project Zero Classroom at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She received her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, from Wichita State University.  She also studied period performance practice at the Tafelmusik Summer Baroque Institute in Toronto.  Her teachers have included Elisabeth Adkins, Blair Milton, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Andrzej Grabiec.  

Lisa is the widow of internationally acclaimed operatic bass-baritone Herbert Eckhoff who also served in the United States Air Force as a missile officer during his 20-year military career.

For any questions about ORCMA, Lisa may be contacted at lisa@orcma.org or at (865) 483-5569.