August 9, 2020
Dear Friends in Music –
Here I sit on this windy August day, thinking how things seem to be making the shift into Fall. Where has the time gone? Has it really been over 4 months since we sent out our message cancelling the last show of our 2019-20 season? I have literally been starting this communication out to you since May 4. Yes, procrastination knows no limits! Or, perhaps, more to the point, every time I sit down to present our plan, a wrench gets thrown into things and I have to start all over.
In May, we were cautiously optimistic and were planning on moving forward with a season of 4 concerts, beginning with one in October, followed by one in December, one in February and one in April. Sadly, by June, our October and April events were cancelled due to circumstances related to the pandemic. We also had to make the difficult decision of cancelling the 2021 Recital Competition. We just didn’t think we could hold it in a safe way.
All of this being said, we continue to be committed to bringing you a season of great Canadian chamber music, and are busy coordinating a series that will begin in December with our own Simon Fryer and Katherine Dowling performing Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas – an appropriate way of marking the 250th anniversary of his birthday. More details on the rest of the season will come out in a subsequent communication.
Artists have been hit particularly hard during this time, and we at the RMC are committed to doing what we can to provide them an opportunity to perform. We also recognize that we cannot be sure a performance will not be cancelled. In the event of a cancellation, we have made the decision to honour the artists’ fees. This is one way of showing our commitment to them and helping to ensure they thrive into the future.
Our ability to do this is because of the ongoing support of you – our subscribers, donors and single ticket buyers, which meant we came out of 2019-20 financially strong. This enabled us to honour our commitments to our suite of University of Regina and Regina Music Festival scholarships. We were also able to pay the artists whose concert was cancelled back in March. So, a big thank you to all of you!
Something else we have done over the past few months is to reach out to artists, via Amy Hillis (thank you, Amy!!!), and have a chat with them — giving them the opportunity to share some of their thoughts of going through this time as well as some of their music. (And we offered them a small sum for their time.) These videos were released on Facebook, and are now up on our website. To date we have a chat with VC2 and chats with the 4 U of R Masters of Music students who, due to the lockdown, were robbed of their chance to perform live for their final recital and who had to do it virtually. I would encourage you to head to our website and take a watch/listen. They are quite inspirational. We intend to continue this project.
We would be interested in hearing from you. We will be sending a survey in the near future, and when we do, we would greatly appreciate it if you could share your thoughts with us on the upcoming season and how we can ensure your comfort and safety. Of course, if you have any feedback for us before that, please don’t hesitate to shoot me a line.
Stay tuned – I promise you won’t wait another 4 months before hearing from us. In the meantime, check out the videos.
On behalf of the RMC Board, I wish you all the best –