In this issue:
- Keeping the Feldman Healthy: What You Can Do To Help
- About the Minetti Quartett
- Returning to St Patrick’s
- Meet Our Board Members
- Possible Time Change for 2015
- Why Listen to Live Music?
As you can appreciate, the difficult economic times make keeping the Feldman going a continual challenge, which is why we see the 2014-2015 season as a turning point. Those of us on the Board, and you, our loyal subscribers, believe in the importance of continuing our tradition of presenting the world’s best chamber music to the south Hampton Roads community, but to do so will require help from “all hands.”
First and foremost, good music requires an audience to enjoy it. While our attendance has been fairly steady, we would like to see every seat filled! We will be offering our discounted student and music professional rate this year to new subscribers (including those who haven’t subscribed in awhile), active duty military, and AAA members. And we never want cost to stand in the way of you or your friends attending, so please see a Board member if you would like the discounted rate, although if you can fit the normal rate into your budget, please do so. Remember, please bring a friend, even if it’s just to sample one or two concerts or even if it’s just for the first half of a concert… we’ll understand!
Second, as a nonprofit organization, we absolutely rely on contributions to keep our series going, because ticket revenue covers less than half of our expenses. We have elected to keep our prices level this year, even in the face of ever increasing expenses, and we believe we offer a great value for your entertainment dollar: some of the world’s greatest music performed by world-class musicians, a pre-concert talk by a world-class musicologist, and the chance to socialize with musicians from around the world and with each other. Again, if you can squeeze it into your budget, please consider increasing your annual contribution this year so we can continue the tradition. And, as always, we thank you for your generosity in the past.
Third, please think about joining our Board or serving as a volunteer at our performances. The work is hard, but rewarding. We’d like to thank the many of you who have served in the past in this labor of love, and invite you to consider rejoining the cause. Whether Board-experienced or not, please let a Board member know if you’d be willing to help put your shoulder to the wheel to help continue our tradition.
We were very disappointed to have had to cancel our concert back in early March 2014 due to the snowstorm. With the safety of everyone involved in staging the performance of paramount importance – most important of which, is you, our audience – we had no choice but to cancel. Regrettably, the MinettiQuartett had other commitments precluding them from playing for us later that week, but we are actively pursuing them for the 2015-2016 season. We are not able to offer refunds for the 2014 concert, but we will offer single complimentary tickets for subscribers who would like them. Please see a Board member for details.
We are pleased to report that our relationship with St Patrick Catholic School will continue as our venue for the 2014-2015 season. We took a very hard look at returning to the Kauffman Theater at the Chrysler Museum now that it has reopened, or moving to a third location, but after surveying you, our audience, and after reviewing the financial numbers, our choice was clear. The advantages St Patrick’s offered over the other venues we looked at included Monday night availability (which a great many of you indicated was of high importance), a very reasonable hall rental fee, and a nice place to sit down while enjoying food and beverage at the pre- and post-concert receptions. Those of you who have enjoyed performances at St Patrick’s have been pleasantly surprised with its intimate setting, decent acoustics, and comfortable seating. We are certainly not ruling out a return to the Chrysler in future seasons, but for this year we are happy to be back at St. Pat’s. So please tell a friend – even though we’re staging concerts at a middle school auditorium, the music is still world-class! And thank you to all of you who took the time to share your comments on our feedback survey at the February concert.
Our Board members, who also serve as our staff, are all volunteers from many walks of life, but who, like you, share one thing in common: a love for and an interest in classical music. Please introduce yourselves to us at our concerts – we’re the ones wearing white and purple nametags!
Looking far ahead, and based on some informal feedback, the Board voted to consider changing the concert start-time from 8pm to 7:30pm for the 2015-2016 season, i.e., not this year, but next year. The reason for this is to allow our patrons who have to be at work or school early the next day to enjoy another half-hour of sleep! (And we also hope the earlier time will entice more school-age audience members to come, even if it’s just for the first half.) We still have many details to work out, such as making sure our pre-concert receptions and pre-concert talks are still delivered at their customary high standard, so let a Board member know what you think of our 2015-2016 proposal. Again, please note: concerts for this year will continue to start at the traditional time of 8pm.
There are as many reasons why the music we present is “Music Worth Hearing” as there are listeners in the audience. Some come to find an escape from the daily routine, others to learn something new, and still others to see people who have studied to be the very best in their field present the results of their labors. And some come just to hear human beings communicate ideas through beautiful sounds, melodies, and rhythms from different times and different places. Whatever your reason, you, the audience, are the critical part of making music. Thank you for being a member of the Feldman!