Weekly Newsletter 

 July 13, 2020 — The Bay Area Early Music Digest 
This week in Early Music: 

A Note From Us

Every week as we navigate our new world together, we'll have a brief note keeping you updated about what is happening at SFEMS.

While the SFEMS staff appreciated a break for the Independence Day weekend, we were excited to launch our third and final month of summer workshops this past weekend. As always, getting a chance to talk to many of you from near and far in our sherry hours was a delight!

Rather than resting on their laurels, it is a testament to the resourcefulness and dedication of our workshop directors and faculty that we are launching three weekday mini-series in addition to our weekend classes—we hope that you'll take advantage of up to ten chances a week to gather with like-minded aficionados, regardless of your musical expertise.

Although I think each of our workshop sessions is a can't-miss event, I want to highlight a free session on June 18—taught by Cléa Galhano—about José Maurício Nunes Garcia, who overcame many challenges, among them racism, to become a celebrated court musician under João VI. I am so grateful for Cléa for tirelessly promoting the music of her compatriot over many years, and bringing her love and knowledge of this music to us.

Finally, I want to extend a continued thank you to all of you for your support! One of the ways many of you did so was to respond thoughtfully and promptly to a community survey we sent out in April. We look forward to continuing that dialogue, but we also wanted to share with you some of the results from that survey (see below). Together, we will continue working towards sustaining a vital early music community here in the Bay Area.


Derek Tam, Executive Director

Virtual Sessions: July Registration is Now Open!

Registration for our third month of classes is now open!

In addition to our weekend offerings Friday–Sunday, we are also offering three mini-series during the week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Join us on a deeper dive on various subjects!

From a free class exploring the music of Brazilian composer José Maurício Nunes Garcia to exploring Dowland songs, there is something for everyone!

Important Virtual Sessions Registration Information

Please select classes directly for purchase from our ticketing page. Once you complete your order, your emailed receipt will contain the option to "print your ticket(s)". Please click on that link, and a ticket will open in your browser with a clickable Zoom link for your class sessions. If available, a link for the class materials is also provided in the PDF ticket. Please click on the Zoom link, or use the user ID or password to connect, when the time comes for the class.


Nervous about Zoom? Please feel free to refer to our Zoom FAQ sheet for any questions about the platform. We will be using the “waiting room” feature and the moderator (SFEMS Workshops) will admit you. You’ll all join muted, and will let the instructor guide you from there.
If you have any technical issues during the session, please use the chat feature to contact the moderator!

April Community Survey Results: Thank You for Participating!

In late April, SFEMS sent out a survey to our community to solicit input about what events and services we may continue to offer as your portal to early music in the Bay Area and beyond. We received over 320 thoughtful responses—for that, we are truly grateful!

While there remain many hurdles to overcome, the staff and board are hard at work behind the scenes to adapt our programming to meet the financial and logistical challenges posed by the pandemic. Since the survey went out, we have sponsored three months of virtual workshop sessions, as well as partnered with Early Music America to present a week of free online concerts, among other things.

We wanted to share some of our survey responses with you today so that you may get a sense of what our community is thinking about during these times. We hope that this survey and future ones will deepen our conversation about creating a sustainable future for SFEMS and early music in the Bay Area during these trying times.

UPDATE: Early Music Freelancers' Relief Fund: Fourth Round Now Open

Relief fund grant recipients may apply for a fourth grant one month after the date they turned in their third grant applications. If you have continuing need, please resubmit your application with documentation demonstrating your continuing need.

First-, second-, and third-time grant applicants will receive priority. (You may file for a continuing grants one month after the day you turned in your previous application).

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks an unprecedented financial toll on the world economy, our local early music freelancers have been particularly hit hard. Months of work have dried up in days, leaving many musicians on the brink of financial ruin.

In an effort to help our musicians, the SFEMS board has taken the lead in setting up a short-term relief fund for local early music freelancers. Since then, we have received over $40,000 in donations. This fund will provide one-time, first-come first-served $250 grants to musicians in need, and will do so until funds run out.

Support SFEMS by Becoming a Member

Your support is more important than ever! Since 1975, SFEMS has presented high quality concerts, up-to-date publications, and some of the best education programs available anywhere. All this has contributed to the Bay Area’s reputation as one of America’s leading centers for the performance of early music.

As a community membership organization, we want to invite you to join in the fun! Learn more below about membership and how to donate.

Are You Already a Member? Or Not Sure?

If your membership renewal is due in the next several months but you are encountering financial difficulties, please contact administrator Stacey Helley at No membership will lapse during the current crisis if we are informed that you would like to continue being a SFEMS member.

To find out your membership status online, log in on our membership page. (N.B. If you use a different login email address that previously on record, please note that it will create a new, separate profile for you that will not have any membership data.)

You will then be prompted to update your contact information. If there is no change, please click "save and continue."

On the next screen, you will be able to see your membership level and expiration date (see image below). You may renew a membership with 30 days prior to the expiration date.

Early Music Corner: José Maurício Nunes Garcia

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!

One of the first major Brazilian composers, José Maurício Nunes Garcia (1767–1830) was the grandson of slaves. Appointed Master of the Royal Court under the reign of João VI, Nunes Garcia's musical style was strongly influenced by Mozart and Haydn. Over 240 of Nunes Garcia's compositions survive, consisting largely of sacred works.

Join us on July 18 for a free class on Nunes Garcia, taught by Brazilian recorder player and SFEMS workshop faculty member Cléa Galhano!

Enjoy a beautiful setting of the Magnificat, as performed by Ensemble TURICUM.

Virtual Offerings from Sonoma Bach

To help our community get through the pandemic and the concomitant cessation of our beloved musical activities, Sonoma Bach has been working on a set of Virtual Offerings.

These include repertoire projects (madrigals, chorales and motets); virtual recording projects; "Bach Talks" on early music topics; language and voice activities; and The Choir Loft, a weekly early music podcast. Scores and other materials are provided. Content is added each week, and further projects will be added as they are developed.

Members of the early music community in the Bay Area and beyond are warmly invited to check out and use these resources at

Facebook Post of the Week

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Our lively Facebook community brings you the latest SFEMS updates, contests, and more! Don't miss out on making new friends, fascinating discussions, and a chance to share the joy of early music!

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This week, we welcome our new Facebook followers!

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SFEMS website

This Week's Events

No new events this week. 

Want your early music event featured on the SFEMS Weekly Calendar? Contact us here and online at

For events, email SFEMS's Marketing Communications Manager, Lorena Zapata at Please submit listings no later than the Thursday before the Monday publication.

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