I hope you are all staying healthy and safe in these disturbing times. Every day seems to get stranger and more challenging. I am hoping that one bright spot might be that we can figure out how to best connect with and care for each other, even during this time of mandatory ‘distancing’. I’m trying to at least reach out by phone or by email to friends and family—some of whom I haven’t connected with for a while. It looks like we’re going to need to find and make our own points of light for a while, sheltering them from the wind and sharing them with others however and wherever we can.
I was running on the nearly-deserted SSU campus this morning, and I came up to a couple walking their dog. Out of the blue and without any forethought, my fist went up into the air and I called out, ‘Keep the faith!’ I haven’t said that phrase or even thought of it for probably 40 years. But there it was, served up straight from my unconscious, an admonition not to give up, not to lose the progress we’ve made, not to let our community disband, but rather to hold it together in strength, in trust, in hope.
I am grieved to tell you that in an emergency meeting last night, our Sonoma Bach board of directors voted to cancel the remainder of our 2019—2020 season. This includes three concert sets—‘Lux Perpetua’ in late March; ‘Pierre Attaingnant and the City of Light’ in late April; and ‘Young Handel in Old Rome’ at the end of May—plus our BachTalk scheduled for May 14.
Of course no one wanted to do this; but we (like so many others) were backed into a corner. We discussed certain alternatives, but they ultimately foundered on the total uncertainty of when we will be able to resume singing together and when it will be safe to bring an audience together for a concert. It looks like we’re in for a haul on this emergency, and we just have to batten down the hatches and do everything we can to keep each other safe.
But we will rise again! Dianna and the board and I are continuing to work on next season—Bach’s World—and we’re excited about it. Each concert will explore some aspect of Bach’s milieu—his predecessors, his surroundings, the styles which he inherited and developed. There will be plenty of Bach, of course; but there will also be lots of music by other great composers who inspired Bach or shared the stage with him in Thuringia and Saxony. And we will close the season with (drumroll): Bach’s incomparable ‘B Minor Mass’.
Our opening recital isn’t till the end of October, and though the only thing that’s certain right now is uncertainty, we are taking a leap of faith and assuming for now that things will be more or less back to normal by then.
Stay tuned for more details on 2020—2021.
In the meantime, we know that many of you have purchased tickets to our remaining 2019—2020 concerts. We would like to offer you three options thereunto pertaining; please let us know which you prefer:
1) Convert your ticket payments to a tax-deductible donation to Sonoma Bach, assisting us thereby to weather the economic challenges of these challenging times and allowing us to make modest partial payments to our beloved professional players and singers who lose work through our cancellations;
2) Receive a credit towards tickets for concerts in our 2020—2021 season;
3) Receive a refund of your ticket payments.
Many of you are also donors to Sonoma Bach, and as always we thank you for the bottom of our hearts for your generosity. Although our season is cancelled, we continue to have expenses—staff and insurance, the partial payments for cancelled engagements noted above, as well as planning and direct expenses for next season. If you can find it in your heart and pocketbook to continue to support Sonoma Bach through this difficult period, we would be most grateful.
Please keep in touch during our enforced ‘sheltering in place’ and thereafter—let us know if we can do anything to help in these trying times—we love and depend upon you all, and we hope to soon be back up and running, sharing great music with you, our Sonoma Bach community.
Lots of love,
Robert Worth Sonoma Bach Music Director
Sonoma Bach's 2019-2020 Season Click image below to download the brochure!