The Omaha Chamber Music Society was founded in 2000 by a dedicated group of professional musicians. Their goal was to bring full length, low cost chamber music performances by top local musicians to the Omaha community, presenting concerts at times and locations that were underserved. In 2001, OCMS presented its first Summer Concert Series in partnership with Trinity Cathedral in downtown Omaha. Free “Music at Midday” concerts were offered to the community. During 2008, a new collaboration with Saint Margaret Mary Church was established, and in 2011, OCMS presented its tenth anniversary Summer Concert Series. Concert attendance has grown steadily over the years, and OCMS continues its efforts to bring high quality chamber music to a wide audience in the greater Omaha community. In 2012, the Summer Concert Series moved to its new home at First Central Congregational Church, building on the excitement surrounding the development of the Midtown Crossing area. This move was a great success, with the Summer Concert Series in succeeding years showing record attendance.
During the 2015-16 season, OCMS collaborated with KANEKO to launch Eko Nova, a series dedicated to presenting breathtaking new music in a modern space. With four concerts in its premiere season, Eko Nova introduced Omaha audiences to some of the most innovative and inspiring musical works being written today. Eko Nova presented virtuosic performances from the region’s finest musicians, plus guest appearances by extraordinary artists from around the country, all as one-hour events that appealed to a diverse crowd, from lovers of contemporary art, to classical music fans, to indie band enthusiasts. Eko Nova is great music for the modern soul. Sound Unbound.
In addition to its commitment to excellent performances, OCMS has active outreach programs. Current community collaborations include University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Music as Medicine series, and concerts at the Jewish Community Center. The Omaha Chamber Music Society also has a very active outreach program at The Hospice House – The Josie Harper Residence. Past collaborations include The Joslyn Museum, Fontanelle Forest, Vesper Series and Presbyterian Church of the Cross, the Cathedral Arts Project and many others.
During the past seven years, the Omaha Chamber Music Society has introduced and expanded a number of active education programs, bringing chamber music education into a variety of schools within Omaha and Millard Public Schools. Chamber music clinics open to the greater Omaha community have attracted student ensembles. Special performances tied to exhibits at the Omaha Children’s Museum and The Durham Museum have introduced young visitors to classical music.