discovered filk in 1984 at a Westercon, where she met a number of well known performers.
Since then, she has developed into an outstanding performer. She adapts her strong contralto and skilful guitar playing to the silliest songs, the most poignant ballads, and everything in between. She is a joy to listen to, and local audiences come year after year to pack the room at her concerts at OryCon.
She has a formidable catalogue as a songwriter and composer, and her songs have been covered extensively by other performers. Her songs range from the serious, such as “Welcome Home”, her tribute to John Glenn, to the humorous, such as “Passion Flower”, her song about Mr. Sulu and the man‑eating alien columbine. Many fans were inspired to read C.J. Cherryh’s books after becoming fascinated with Cecilia’s song “Morgaine at Ivrel.” In addition, she has collaborated as a performer, arranger, and songwriter with many other filk artists, including Mercedes Lackey, Heather Alexander, and Michael Longcor.
She is an active participant in filk programming at cons, sharing her love of filk with newbies, her knowledge of album recording and production, and her songs. She has released two albums of her own compositions, “Harmony in Practice,” and “Of Shoes & Ships.” She also can be heard in numerous anthologies.
She is a deeply considerate filk circle participant. She hangs back and encourages newcomers with gentle prompts and requests. She skips her own turn to perform songs people request of her, and offers her services as an accompanist. In filk circles, her encyclopaedic knowledge and consistently excellent standard of performance are an example to us all.
Cecilia has been a tireless promoter and supporter of filk in the Pacific Northwest. Besides hosting many housefilks over the years, she has almost singlehandedly kept filk going strong at OryCon in Portland. Along with Andrew Nisbet, she is the driving force behind the Portland Friends of Filk. They put in endless hours running a dealer’s table to raise money for Friends of Filk with no financial benefit to themselves. They have brought in filk guests from outside the area to OryCon, RustyCon, the Seattle NaSFiC, and other local cons, to find new fans and inspire new filkers in the Pacific Northwest. This has often inspired a full filk track at cons that otherwise would not have had any filk programming at all.
Orycon has for many years been the most consistently welcoming and supportive gencon in the region, mostly due to the work of the Portland Friends of Filk. As a dealer she has been nearly alone in bringing recorded filk to conventions in the Pacific Northwest. The Northwest filk community is immeasurably richer from Cecilia’s work to sustain it.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Cecilia Eng is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twentieth day of April, Two thousand and Thirteen.
Photo credit: Phil Mills