happening peoplearchive

Maureen (Mo) Robeson

"My original plan was to be a high school choir director," says Mo Robeson, who studied music and art at her hometown school, San Diego State. "That's where I met Denny Robeson." They got married, he joined the Coast Guard, and she finished up her degree at the U of West Florida in Pensacola while he went to flight school. She sang with the Honolulu Chorale and Symphony when he was stationed in Hawaii as a search and rescue pilot. They spent five years in Aberdeen, Washington, where he worked in air traffic control and she taught at Grays Harbor College. "I had 26 voice students at one time," she recalls. After they arrived in Eugene with young daughters Wendy and Laurie in 1983, Robeson appeared in Ed Ragozzino musical productions and sang with the Eugene Concert Choir. She began work part time at the state crime lab when the girls entered school, and went to full time for the City of Eugene in 1994. She was executive assistant to City Manager Jon Ruiz when she retired in 2013. In 1999, she assembled a choir of city employees for a diversity event. "People wanted to continue," she says, and the City Singers lasted 15 years. "We performed about once a month." Robeson is in her sixth year as director of In Accord Community Choir, a group that often sings at environmental and social justice events. In Accord presents its annual Spring Concert, "Voices of Life," at Unity of the Valley, 3912 Dillard, on Saturday, May 30 at 7 pm. Look for racewalkers Mo and Denny in the Butte-to-Butte and other local running events.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 28 May 2015

hp archive