Founded in 2017 and led by Emily Lau, an award-winning composer, singer, and conductor, and a group of passionate change-makers, Big Mouth Society challenges convention in musical ensemble organization in a variety of ways.
First, Big Mouth Society has attracted and maintained a core group of musicians who combine in unique groups for rehearsals, salons and performances. There is no formula for these ensembles, and participating musicians are of varied levels and backgrounds.
Secondly, Big Mouth Society’s productions are primarily funded by studio members, with additional support from donors, community members and ticket sales. To date, we have not sought large-scale sponsorships or grants but has focused on creating a self-sufficient and organic base of financial support.
Finally, Big Mouth Society builds on this collective approach by producing concerts featuring internationally-renowned professional musicians who perform with our ensembles and in special productions. Visiting soloists and composers also lead artistic skill-building workshops for studio members.
Significant activities since its inception in July 2017 include an elaborate launch concert featuring The Broken Consort, an internationally-known chamber music ensemble; the Portland premiere of The Gonzales Cantata, a famed modern cantata featuring soloists in gender-reversed roles; more than five world premieres, and more than ten regional premieres of adventurous works in different venues, presenting theatrical and instrumental masterclasses and ongoing salons showcasing impromptu and rehearsed music-making.
Our leadership team is a microcosm of the larger Big Mouth Society community, and includes professional artists, art enthusiasts and community leaders. We’re always looking for passionate and committed individuals to help grow our organization.