Weekly Newsletter 

 July 27, 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.

Over the past several months, it has been remarkable to see how performing arts organizations are rising to the challenge of bridging digital isolation to create art and community in a time where we need it more than ever. From Zoom gatherings to digital concerts and everything in between, we are slowly embracing the virtual even when we long for physical connection. Perhaps this is by necessity, but I have also seen new and genuine connections appear that would have been far less likely to occur before.

Certainly, I would not want to diminish the existential challenges that confront us. As a once-aspirant journalist, I cannot but help shudder at the two-decade hollowing out of the newspaper industry, dealt yet another blow in the pandemic. For better or worse, I see many potential parallels, and hope for the future does not pay the bills today.

But rather than treating our current digital activities as a stopgap, we are beginning to see how we are laying a foundation for a viable future. In that spirit, I invite you click below on our newest survey to help SFEMS move forward our discussion about concert programming in the 2020-21 season. As always, thanks for helping us take these next steps!



Derek Tam, Executive Director

NEW: Concert Planning Survey

In May, SFEMS sent out a community survey about moving forward during the global pandemic. Your generous feedback has already helped us move forward in many areas of programming. As we continue to discuss possibilities surrounding concert programming in the 2020-21 season, we would like to invite additional feedback for consideration.

While much remains in flux, SFEMS remains committed to presenting quality artists from near and far in compelling presentations of various formats. Although it will not be possible to offer live concerts in the fall, we hope that online concerts will help the music flowing and offer opportunities for local musicians to perform. This survey will close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 3. It should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

FINAL CALL: One More Weekend of Virtual Sessions!

Join us for our last weekend of virtual sessions this summer, and for two more weeks of our weekday mini-series. Stay tuned for more information about fall offerings as we regroup in August!

From exploring the basics of earlier notation to basking in the musical splendor of Venice this week, 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!

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 $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.

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 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 Eve of the March

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
Every year, SFEMS awards outreach grants to several of its affiliate organizations. This video documents a project presented by one of our 2019 recipients, Vajra Voices!

On January 18, 2019, Vajra Voices, Kitka, Shira Kammen, and Theresa Wong sang Hildegard von Bingen's antiphon Quia Ergo Femina in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral on the eve of that year's Women's March.

Facebook Post of the Week

Did you miss it?
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!

3.6K followers and counting...

This week, we welcome our new Facebook followers!

Rachel Lovins
Henry Branson
Carol Crowder Phillips
Casey Colon
Jackie Willis
Eli McCormack
Susan Pike
Sally Larsen
Antonio Ortega Rivera
Gil Lagil
Jonathan Luik
SFEMS Facebook page
SFEMS website

This Week's Events

Aug 1: Santa Cruz Baroque Festival – "Airs for the Seasons"
Aug 2: Santa Cruz Baroque Festival – "Airs for the Seasons"

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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