August 31, 2003 - Register-Guard: Symphony administrator Rebekah Lambert leaving to join Peace Corps in Albania

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Albania: Peace Corps Albania : The Peace Corps in Albania: August 31, 2003 - Register-Guard: Symphony administrator Rebekah Lambert leaving to join Peace Corps in Albania

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, September 01, 2003 - 12:34 pm: Edit Post

Symphony administrator Rebekah Lambert leaving to join Peace Corps in Albania

Symphony administrator Rebekah Lambert leaving to join Peace Corps in Albania

Symphony administrator leaving to join Peace Corps

By Fred Crafts
The Register-Guard

In seven years as executive director of the Eugene Symphony, Rebekah Lambert has earned a national reputation as a rising star in arts administration. So what's her next move?


Never mind that her beloved orchestra is preparing to open its season on Sept. 25.

Rebekah Lambert has been executive director of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra since 1996.

Photo: Thomas Boyd / The Register-Guard

Never mind that her new husband, Mike Fox - whom she married on May 3 - will stay behind to run his law practice and continue serving on the Eugene school board.

No, Lambert is leaving Sept. 22 to join the Peace Corps in Albania for two years.

"It's unconventional," Lambert said, "but it was always in our plans."

Lambert, 38, is thrilled - convinced she is doing the right thing.

"I've dreamt of it for a very long time," she said. "I had a desire to really test everything I know to see if I can make a difference in a more profound way. This opportunity came up, and I couldn't say no. It's too extraordinary."

Lambert has long considered ways of making a difference in the world, but the closest thing to doing something like this was when she spent a year studying in Italy during college and when she took a long vacation in India.

Otherwise, she has stayed on the arts administration path. She earned a B.A. degree in music from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1986), served as orchestra manager at the Honolulu Symphony (1989-92), received her M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management (1994) and served as executive director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas (Beaumont, 1994-96) before coming to Eugene.

"I am ready for a new challenge. I'm a little restless," Lambert said. "As much as I love this job - I love the orchestra, I love the people - it was time for me to take on something new and push myself and see where I might go to next."

Her husband agreed: "It's something she has wanted to do for a long time," Fox said. "It fulfills her innate sense of altruism, and I'm very excited she has the opportunity to do it."

A national search is just getting under way for Lambert's successor. Orchestra officials says she will be a tough act to follow.

Since 1996, the orchestra has completed each season with a budget surplus. Lambert has negotiated two collective bargaining agreements with the musicians' union, completed two music director searches (Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Giancarlo Guerrero) and developed a board-approved strategic plan. She led a successful campaign to secure the city council's waiver of concert hall fees for youth education events. And she represented arts organizations on a citizen committee developing a business plan for the city-owned performing arts center.

She has served as a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League's board of directors, and she gave the keynote presentation at the league's 1999 national conference.

Eugene Symphony board president David Kammerer called Lambert "a terrific executive director." The orchestra's conductor laureate, Marin Alsop, who was leaving the orchestra just as Lambert was coming in, said she "enjoyed the small interactions that I did have tremendously."

After leaving Eugene, Lambert will undergo three months of preparatory training in Albania. Then she will be assigned to the mayor's staff in a city yet to be determined.

Fox said he intends to join his wife ``after she's well settled in, probably for her birthday in April and most likely for part of the summer.''

Added Lambert, "Our lives are going to be so much richer for it."

Still, the move comes with some pain.

"Truly, I get a lump in my throat saying goodbye to people I really love and the orchestra I love. It's not easy to say goodbye," she said.

Fred Crafts can be reached at 338-2575 or

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Register-Guard

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Albania; Music



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.