Weekly Newsletter 

 November 30, 2020 — The Bay Area Early Music Digest 
This week in Early Music: 

A Note From Us

Get an inside look at SFEMS each week!

I know that correlation does not imply causation, but how else can one explain the fact that every year, the day I see the first Christmas tree go up is also the day I receive the first solicitation for a holiday donation?

Joking aside, this year has entrenched in me how nourishing it has been for my spirit to not only receive donations on behalf of SFEMS, but also to donate boldly and reaffirm my commitments to the organizations and causes that I hold dear through sustained giving (this, of course, includes SFEMS!).

In a year defined by isolation, the act of continual giving has provided me with a sense of agency: I can effect the change I want to see in the world. This year, I have given to at least two dozen organizations—often more than once—ranging from my local food bank to national efforts to curb systemic injustice. When all is said and done, I intend to donate over 10 percent of my income this challenging year. When so little seemed well in the grand scheme things, giving often gave me a chance to live out the old adage, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I share a part of my giving story with you today not to boast, but hopefully to inspire; I have been almost singularly fortunate that my ongoing work with SFEMS has cushioned the impact of evaporated performance income. Many people may want to give to where their hearts are and may not be able to do so at this moment.

But I share this nonetheless in the earnest hope that our collective charitable giving this December will lift ourselves as much as the donations will boost their recipients.

Derek Tam, Executive Director

Available on Demand Through Dec. 12: Debus & Sariel

Enjoy this sneak peek from Tabea and Alon's concert on Nov. 21—Diego Ortiz's "Recercada Segunda sobre tenores Italianos" from the second book of the Trattado de Glosas (1553).
Some melodies just jump off the page, staying in the mind for days on end. Rising early music stars Tabea Debus and Alon Sariel joined together for a scintillating program of Ohrwürmer (or as we say in the United States, earworms) on Nov. 21.
The concert will be available on-demand through December 12.
Tabea Debus, recorder; Alon Sariel, lute

Second Round of Fall Classes Are in Session!

There's still time to catch some exciting classes this fall!
Fridays at 5PM (November 6–December 11)
Rotem Gilbert – Polyphonic Settings in Italian Sources 1400-1600

Sundays at 1PM (November 8–December 13)
Daphna Mor – Ottoman-Turkish and Arabic Music from the 18th–20th century

Sundays at 3PM (November 8–December 13)
Adam Bregman – Musica practica: Seeing Renaissance Music through the Eyes of Renaissance Musicians

–––We are also offering two one-off classes–––

Saturday, December 5 at 1PM
Nigel North – La Rhètorique des Dieux (lecture/performance)
Come enjoy SFEMS's patented mix of
playing, scholarship, and community! 

We're taking a deeper dive into the world of early music with our world-class faculty as we build upon our summer virtual sessions by presenting several mini-series, each consisting of of five classes, as well as some one-offs that follow up on the summer's topics.

Individual mini-series classes are $25 each. If you purchase all five classes for ONE mini-series, you will receive a $15 discount for that mini-series.
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NEW: "Keeping the Music Alive" Facebook Live Chats

Over the next month, join us for our "Keeping the Music Alive" series, featuring short, live interviews every several days with various community members about how SFEMS is making an impact during the pandemic. Subscribe to our Facebook page and you'll be notified when we head online—usually in the early afternoon!

Enjoy this conversation between Marketing Communications Manager Lorena Zapata and Vicki Melin, a professional flautist who is involved with SFEMS as an affiliate ensemble director and workshop faculty member.

If You're Looking to Renew Your Membership, Watch This Video

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 than 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 if you are a current member. You may renew a membership within 30 days prior to the expiration date.

Still not sure? Watch this handy video!
Excited about becoming a member or renewing your membership? SFEMS Marketing Communications Manager Lorena Zapata will guide you step-by-step through the process online!

Have Questions? Here's How You Can Reach Us!

If you’re having technical troubles accessing a virtual workshop, online concert, or have a general question for us, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here for you!

Click on the button below to read about the various ways to reach us.

Past Newsletters Archive

Good news! If you're looking for a tidbit from a past SFEMS weekly newsletter, you can now access our archive online!

Click on the button below for direct access to  the archive, or just go to!

Early Music Freelancers' Relief Fund—Eighth Round Now Open

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

First-time grant applicants, as well as repeat applicants who have received fewer than seven grants, 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 $50,000 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.

Early Music Corner: Expanding the Narrative: Slave Songs and Spirituals as Early Music

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
Early Music Access Project’s (EMAP) new virtual series, Expanding the Narrative, aims to center Black music and musicians in the story of early America. EMAP Artistic Director David McCormick is joined by countertenors Reggie Mobley and Patrick Dailey, as well as baritone James Dargan, for a roundtable discussion on approaching slave songs and spirituals from the perspective of historically informed performance.

Facebook Post of the Week

FB Post of the Week SFEMS Nov 30
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Thank You to Our New Facebook Followers!

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This Week's Events

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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