Otto is an octet of Empire City Men's Chorus members identified and chosen by special audition. They serve as artistic ambassadors for the organization, perform small vignettes during series concerts, and appear independently in outside and booked performances by request. These eight men of Otto are the embodiment of ECMC's core mission and values. They are superlative singers who exude fierce dedication to ensemble singing technique, as well as a personal loyalty to their love of music and bringing it to diverse communities of public audiences.
The members of Otto are Craig Goodwin-Ortiz de Leon, Steve Ostrow, Edward Angelo Enrique, Eric Faris, Daniel Fiore, Anthony Pho, Clay Morris, and Bill Powell. The ensemble made its premiere performance at ECMC's holiday 2015 Thrive Concert Series, where they sang an arrangement of the Wexford Carol by Dean X Johnson (1954-1998), the part of the featured chorus in Ave Maria by Franz Xaver Biebl (1906-2001), and O Regem caeli - Natus est nobis by Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548-1611).
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Otto was born out of a need both to strengthen ECMC from within its membership and to increase ECMC's artistic mobility and reach within the community. We hope that this will create a culture of leadership and musical excellence within the full group, provide a more challenging musical experience for members seeking it, and allow ECMC to have a larger dynamic impact of men’s voices singing together for diverse audiences. – Vince Peterson, Artistic Director