Weekly Newsletter 

 August 24, 2020 — The Bay Area Early Music Digest 
This week in Early Music: 

A Note From Us

Get an inside look at SFEMS each week!

As Northern California is once again besieged by fires, with smoke and ash insistently seeping into our homes, we are holding in our thoughts for all the members of our community who have been directly affected by the fire. May the fires be contained soon so that we can move into the journey of recovery and healing. 


Derek Tam, Executive Director

Join the SFEMS Family:
A Testimonial From Our Youngest 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.
We asked some of our youngest SFEMS members (eight and 12 years old) and here is what they have to say about us and their experience this year with both our virtual Music Discovery Workshop for children and our adult virtual workshops!

"The SFEMS classes are really intriguing and great and the instructors make learning fun with music! I would really want to participate again.

"I love how MDW has a variety of different classes and how it really brings you back to the time period of what you’re learning about. The music is both lively and engaging, I would be sure to come back next year!"

From our eight-year-old member!

Thank You For Your Support: $20K in Artist Honoraria

Because of your generosity, we have been able to provide over $20,000 in honoraria to our artists for our cancelled regular season and Berkeley Festival main stage concerts, as well as for some of our workshops. Thank you for supporting our wonderful musicians in this time! 

Are You Already a Member? Or Not Sure? (Watch a 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!

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!

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 $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.

Annual Membership Meeting on September 13

SFEMS will hold its annual members’ meeting on Sunday, September 13, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. online on Zoom.

All SFEMS members are cordially invited to attend to share your ideas for the future, and most importantly, elect Board members for the 2020–21 fiscal year. A slate of Board nominations will be announced in late August.

Highlights will include a performance by Calextone, our newest affiliate, as well as an opportunity to celebrate Jonathan Harris, our beloved communications director who retired in February after three decades of exemplary service.

Help shape the future of SFEMS!

Learn more about the annual meeting.

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.

SPONSORED: "Live From London"

Join London-based VOCES8 as they present an online festival featuring some of the world's leading vocal ensembles!

Filmed in 4K and broadcast in HD from the intimate setting of the VOCES8 Centre, this new online festival features some of the world's finest vocal ensembles. The line-up includes VOCES8I Fagiolini, The SwinglesStile AnticoThe Sixteen (from Kings Place), The Gesualdo SixApollo5Chanticleer (from San Francisco), and a special guest appearance by The Academy of Ancient Music.

Festival broadcasts began on August 1, and will be broadcast online every Saturday for ten weeks. However, you can still catch up with past concerts on-demand by buying a season ticket for $100 (a 50% discount compared to the single ticket price of $15). If you purchase from the link below, SFEMS will receive a portion of the proceeds from your subscription!

Early Music Corner: Inclusive Early Music

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
Detail of illumination from Khamsa of Nizami, London British Library, Or. 12208 f. 298r

What are some of the missing voices in early music? Musicologists Erika Honisch and Giovanni Zanovello, along with a team of collaborators, are compiling resources that shed light the oft-hidden strands of music history in their new website, Inclusive Early Music.

A major part of their work involves compiling a bibliography that pays "special attention to people who—because of race, gender, geographical origins, or social status—have been left out of the mainstream musicological narrative."

We hope you take a look at their vital work!

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...

Thank You to Our New Facebook Followers!

Anne Maich
Tim Rosie
Chris Waigl
Elizabeth Gillespie
Dominic Ibita
SFEMS Facebook page
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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