Two days before our “¡Fiesta!” concert was scheduled on March 6, 2020 at Trinity Lutheran Church, the orchestra Board decided to cancel it because of the exploding Covid-19 pandemic. Events have shown that decision to be justified and appropriate.
In June Music Director Cynthia Morrow proposed rehearsing within the Governor’s restrictions - in a small group, outdoors, masked. We started preparing a group of Mozart string quartets with two or three musicians on a part. We were headed for a concert scheduled November 20 when the Fall surge occurred and we were shut down again. We were finally able to resume rehearsals (indoors this time) in February, leading to a very successful concert at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA) on March 27, 2021 - just over a year after our cancelled concert.
We have slightly increased our numbers and added flutes, piano and percussion and are preparing a “Fiddles to Fiesta” concert at WICA on August 27. This will include some of the pieces from the “¡Fiesta!” concert as well as other North and South American string music.
While we can’t predict the future, the introduction of highly-effective Covid-19 vaccines has led to a significant de-escalation of restrictions. We are eager to get back to full operation for the Fall 2021 Season! Considerations are -
- Rehearsal Space. It is not clear that either the High School Band Room or the Trinity Lutheran Church Gymnasium will be available to us, or that either is fully ideal for our purposes. The Board is identifying alternatives.
- Concert Venue. WICA is eager to continue our relationship. They have scheduled our “Santa’s Playlist” Christmas concert for December 19, and a Pops concert for March 26 of next year. We are also scheduling a “Harry Potter Does Hallowe’en” concert at Trinity Lutheran Church on October 29.
- Health Restrictions. The orchestra includes a significant number of musicians who are older and/or have medical conditions. We also presumably have members who cannot or choose not to be immunized. The Board has not yet decided on what restrictions will be placed on musicians in September - masks, instrument covers, spacing, vaccination. This will depend on the course of the pandemic. We will soon send a survey to our musician mailing list to get a sense of how our members feel about this issue.
- Musician Dues. The Board has decided that dues paid in anticipation of concerts that did not occur - March and May, 2020 - will be carried forward and applied to future concerts. That is, if you paid for those concerts, you still have a credit to apply towards future concerts. The Board also decided that dues owed but not paid as of our March, 2020 closure date will be written off. So, if you owed dues for those 2020 concerts, you no longer do, and will start afresh as of September 2021.
Although not all the details are clear, we think we are going to be able to get back to more-or-less full operation in September! It soon will be time to get the fingers limber and the lips in shape!
Sincerely, The Board of Directors of Whidbey Island Orchestra and Cynthia Morrow, Music Director
2021 - 2022 Concert Season
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - WICA - March 27, 2021
Fiddles to Fiesta - WICA - August 27, 2021
Harry Potter Does Hallowe'en - Trinity Lutheran Church - October 29, 2021
Santa's Holiday Playlist - WICA - December 19, 2021
Pops Concert - WICA - March 26, 2022
Mothers' Day Concert - May, 2022
... and more to come!