It is hard to believe that it has been 30 years since we started Midsummer’s Music. I remember the first concert at Dianne and Peter Trenchard’s in 1991 (I still have the attendance list), along with so many milestones and minor steps since then. I estimate that we have performed more than 600 concerts in that time, and I have been fortunate enough to attend or perform in almost all of them. Along the journey, I have gotten to know so many music lovers and friends like you – one of the most rewarding aspects of it all.
Sure, there have been challenges now and then – last minute illnesses that have required finding a musician replacement in a matter of hours – lost music – automobile malfunction (my own) on the way to a concert… There was even the concert at The Hardy Gallery when it was only 38 degrees outside. Hugh Mulliken came to the rescue with a torpedo heater, the kind they use on construction sites. We cranked it up before the concert and at the intermission, but it was too noisy and too smelly to use during the concert. With every phrase the temperature fell in the unheated shed. The 12 (!) people in the audience could have easily practiced social separation, except we didn’t know what that was back then. Instead, they huddled together under blankets or coats. It was only our second year, but our hardy (Hardy) audience returned the next year. It was just one of many difficulties we would survive.
I guess, with nearly 30 years under my belt, I thought I had experienced about everything. Then, someone said “Pandemic!” They don’t teach you about that in music school. I doubt that they teach you about it in business school. In fact, it’s not even on the curriculum at the school of hard knocks – until now.
Chamber musicians are not normally asked to improvise like our jazz brethren are – until now. And until now, we were looking at a budget that assumed a reasonable amount of income from tickets. As we rework our schedule to address safety issues and governmental restrictions, it is becoming clear that our ticket revenue is certainly going to suffer. Plus, attendance and ticket revenue help to drive the other part of our budget – donations.
So, while a lot is still up in the air at the moment, one thing is absolutely clear. We need your help now in an unprecedented way. Please make a generous contribution at this time as we continue to identify creative ways to reach out to our community. Stay tuned as we come up with meaningful and engaging alternative programming ideas. In the meantime, please help us get through this very difficult time with a generous gift. We will all come out stronger and be happily together once again on the other side.