Weekly Newsletter 

 August 10, 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 must admit that I felt a palpable sense of sadness this past Thursday, after clicking the "Leave" button for the last virtual workshop session of the summer. Even after attending the majority of 103 virtual workshop sessions, I was re-energized by both an intelligent conversation on vibrato and by singing through a wonderful (and unknown to me) setting of "Lobe den Herren" by the early 17th-century German composer Johann Vierdanck. It remains remarkable to me that even in mid-April, we were still vividly debating the concept of virtual workshops sessions that were supposed to start (and finish for that matter) in May. Fortunately, the discussion is now about how to continue these wonderful education experiences in the fall!

While I marvel at the technical adroitness our workshop directors and faculty acquired and flaunted, what truly flabbergasts me is how the SFEMS workshop community rose to the occasion and grew during this time. I certainly do not want to downplay the cancellation of the in-person workshops; speaking for myself, I long for the minor miracle of communing with others through music. But rather than dismissing the Zoom sessions as a pale substitute for the workshops, I now know for a fact that genuine community and connections can be forged even when folks show up as tiny rectangles on a computer screen—it's remarkable how people's personalities can still shine through! From calls across the International Date Line to our new Brazilian redoubt, the SFEMS community has acquired new members that I hope will not fall away when we return to a so-called "normal".

In that spirit of building community, I must now make my semi-annual encouragement for you to consider becoming a SFEMS member, or making an additional donation to our general fund, as we close out our fiscal year on August 31. Even if you do not live in the Bay Area, membership is an option!

I recognize these are not easy times for anyone—the current crisis has exposed how fragile so many of our livelihoods are, and the needs of so many are so vast. In our own small way at SFEMS, we hope to help by renewing memberships for any recent member for whom paying dues would be a financial burden (see below for more information). That said, if you are willing and able, I want to thank you in advance for keeping the music alive!

With gratitude,

Derek Tam, Executive Director

Classical Workshop Cancelled

It is with regret that we announce that the 2020 Classical Workshop has been canceled because of the pandemic. Registrants will be offered a full refund, with an option as well to donate their payment back to SFEMS.

Thank You for Attending the Virtual Sessions, and Stay Tuned

A fun screenshot from one of our classes!

Thank you for joining us for three months of virtual sessions! Your dedication powered us through this new endeavor, born out of crisis and sustained by your enthusiasm.

We look forward to bringing you more educational opportunities in the fall!

NEW: Early Music Freelancers' Relief Fund: Fifth Round Now Open

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

First-, second-, third-, and fourth-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 $45,000 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.

California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners

The newly formed California Relief Fund for Artists and Cultural Practitioners program was created by the California Arts Council in response to the economic crisis and impending financial needs of individual artists resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of $920,000 of the Council’s state grant funds have been allocated to the program, which will offer unrestricted $1,000 grants for individual artists and cultural practitioners statewide.

The application cycle will close on August 18.

Join the SFEMS Family and Become 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.

Board Meeting: Aug. 17

SFEMS will hold its next board meeting online on Monday, August 17. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.  We welcome current members’ attendance at board meetings.

Anyone interested in coming to the open portion of this meeting should contact President Joyce Johnson Hamilton at by August 16.

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 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 (see image below). You may renew a membership within 30 days prior to the expiration date.

Early Music Corner:
The First Female Composers in the United States

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
Learn more about Voices in the Wilderness, a newly released album that includes compositions by the first named female composers in the United States.

Delve into the world of the Ephrata Cloister, a religious commune established in the 18th century in what is now Pennsylvania. Though members were encouraged to compose as a means of devotion, only recently were attributions discovered linking certain works to female members of Ephrata.

Facebook Post of the Week

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Join our online community and never miss a post again!
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!

3.7K followers and counting...

This week, we welcome our new Facebook followers!

Antonio Gómez
Benjamin Caulfield
Joel Stoppenhagen
Trevor Choi
Carlos Perez
Jimmy Drancsak
Codrin Constantin
Rowbot Destroya
Ryan Vaughn
Mikolaj Poplawski
Sef Alden Khadra
Partha Pratim Jana
Dibyokamal Mitra
Paul Krejci
Paul Conrad
James Rodrigue
Zuzanna Paprzycka
Tim Keeler
Kelly Uselton
Melissa Hawks
Carol Ng
Christina Newport-del Gallego
Jamie Torrance
Joy Ogden
Thomas Bognanno
Olivia Louise
Brian Brown
Joseph C. Ruhf
Julianne Schenck
Antonela Frashëri
Hilary Strain
Raymond Ernest André III
Declan Wilcox
Heather June Kamikawa
Laura Dombkowski
Ilan Oliveira
Belinda Sykes
Antonella Quintana
Stephanie Lozano
Valentín Rodríguez
MaryBeth MacDonald
Gillian Bobnak
Saagar Asnani
Memento Mori
Chris Larios
Constantin Raileanu
Matthew Norby
Pyethra Delcol
Tom Deckman
Jason Richmond
Joseph Edward Krohlow
Andrew Anderson
Jack Corcoran
Andrew Webb
Lauren-Michael Sellers
Adaney Cruz Ruiz
Michael Rintamaa
Georgia Papamichael
Jessica Goldring
Flavio Nati
Eva Dolinšek
Colin Chandler
Frederik Punsmann
Peter Carroll
Stamatis Zafeiropoulos
Bartosz Izbicki
Paul Seitan Varela
Arion Vespertilio
George Price
Jose Fernando Marques
Joel S. Kumro
Sebastián Rojas Guzmán
Gabriel Pérez
Peter Davis
David Recca
Ben Maloney
Lazarus Lyra
Antonella Gì
Michele Wilson Vaughn
Pat Rossiter
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SFEMS website

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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