FROM OUR PRESIDENT & CEO
We’re not able to be together yet in person, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep in touch with our friends! You are all an important part of the Master Chorale, providing the enthusiasm and support that demonstrates the vitality of our art form. It’s with sincere gratitude, and in the spirit of building community, that we launch our inaugural email newsletter for subscribers and donors, the Master Chorale Voice.
To say that 2020 has been a tough year so far would be a huge understatement. Nevertheless, the Master Chorale has continued to share great choral music to entertain and inspire, and has also been actively planning for a future that, despite tough times now, promises to be so much brighter.
On August 28, we released the world-premiere recording of Eric Whitacre’s The Sacred Veil on Signum Classics. The Master Chorale commissioned the piece while Eric was Swan Family Artist-in-Residence and premiered it in February 2019. That performance was such a success that we decided to record an album, which has been made possible by a host of very important donors, including our wonderful board chair, Phil Swan, and the Swan Family Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, Denise and Robert Hanisee, Linda J. Hodge, Kathleen and James Drummy, Faith Raiguel and Billy Weber, Nancy Revy Barber and Rocky Barber, Sonia Messer Randazzo, Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma, Susan Erburu Reardon and George Reardon, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Cindy and Gary Frischling, Dr. Marguerite Marsh, Courtland Palmer, Ann Graham Ehringer, and Rosemary Schroeder.
Eric’s term as our Swan Family Artist-in-Residence ended in June, and we are pleased to welcome his successor, Reena Esmail. She will play a valuable role as part of a three-person artistic leadership team that includes Associate Artistic Director Jenny Wong and Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director. She will also write a new, major work specifically for the Master Chorale, which we will perform in a later season. We look forward to you getting to know her better in the months and years ahead.
In our July postponement of the 2020–21 season, we boldly pledged to dedicate 50% of our season programming to music by composers from underrepresented communities within classical music. As Grant says, this promise demonstrates our commitment to “lifting up a multiplicity of voices in order to present the most vibrant mix of choral music imaginable.”
Our focus on a more diverse body of music for you to enjoy in concert is part of our larger goal of creating an equitable and inclusive organization, as laid out by our strategic plan, which the Master Chorale Board of Directors approved in June. The plan includes building greater participation in choral music with important new educational initiatives while continuing to build on our current artistic success and financial stability. Thanks to our supporters like you and the leadership of our board, we are truly moving in the right direction. In the meantime, we are putting the finishing touches on a fall season of digital offerings, including brand new recordings of our amazing singers. We hope you enjoy them and thank you for helping to make all of it possible.
—Jean Davidson, President & CEO