MEMBERS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY AND DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
Dearest Sierra Chamber Society patron and supporter...
The good news is there will be a 34th Sierra Chamber Society Concert Season!
It will take place in 2021-22. In view of regrettable circumstances far beyond anyone's control the 2020-2021 season must be cancelled. The Sierra Chamber Society considers everyone's safety its first concern. Many of us in the audience are in a high-risk demographic, myself included.
Members of the SCS Board, after extensive and updated conversations, are unanimous in this decision.
The Sierra Chamber Society steps in line with the SF Symphony, Opera and Ballet, Bay Area Fine Arts museums, the LA Phil and Philharmonia Baroque, and countless Bay Area arts and entertainment series, large and small, in responding to the uncertain but likely worsening COVID situation in cancelling or postponing upcoming seasons. See www.sfcv.org the website for the San Francisco Classical Voice, for a detailed enumeration of Bay Area musical event cancellations. Closer to home, all live events at Rossmoor, of which there are a good many, have been suspended indefinitely, with a few subject to broadcast.
I am gratified to acknowledge that our current donors and those who pre-purchased tickets to cancelled performances during our 33rd season have converted their tickets to donations. For any who have questions or concerns about this, Christie Beardsley, our business manager is always happy to help at email@example.com.
I want to mention a very special group among our many generous donors - those who contributed to the Sirota/Cavalier commission, the result of which is Contrapassos for Soprano and String Quartet. I have the score in hand and have heard a recorded read-through by the actual cast of performers. I am confident this marvelous and innovative work will be well worth the wait. All concerned, including the composer, the Telegraph String Quartet and star soprano Abigail Fischer are absolutely committed to making it happen along with the rest of the amazing program in which the premiere takes place, to include Schoenberg's lush second string quartet (also with Ms. Fischer as soloist) and Beethoven's colossal String Quartet No 14 Op 131. The funds dedicated to this endeavor are safely set aside.
We will not be formally fundraising during our furlough. This will be deferred until next summer, at least until we are all more certain of some kind of normalcy (or at least an M.O. for small ensembles like ours to survive). But we must prepare ourselves for indefinite social distancing in the long term. This practice will limit attendance at Grace where the seating capacity is 200, to 50-100 depending on family groupings. Ticket sales will fall far short of funding the kind of programming and performances the Sierra Chamber Society is accustomed to. Social distancing will almost certainly become a long-term financial stressor. Those among the Sierra faithful who wish to invest in our future might consider limited attendance when contemplating future levels of support.
Although I understand their practicality and potential attractiveness, the Sierra chamber Society will not be offering any kind of virtual simulation, pre-recorded or broadcast performances. This is based on extensive personal experience across several genres of arts events with, to my mind, anemic and uniformly disappointing results. YouTube is fine as far as it goes. But that’s not what we’re about. And so, we must be patient and await a time when the Sierra Chamber Society can safely offer live performances once more that capture and enthrall our hearts and minds as only live music in an intimate setting can.
Wishing you courage to endure these chaotic times, I invite your continued patience, trust and loyalty.
As always with warm regards...
Director, Sierra Chamber Society