Weekly Newsletter 

 August 3, 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.

As the Box Office and Patron Services Manager since March 2016, this summer was to be my third Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. By the beginning of March, the SFEMS board and staff began considering what we would need to do if we had to cancel the festival due to the pandemic.

When we made the decision to bring several of the summer workshops online and present them via Zoom, I knew that my role was going to be quite different from my ticketing and front-of-house duties. In my four-and-a-half years with SFEMS, I was never fully involved with the summer workshops; I only helped out here and there with setting up and cleaning up. I suggested that the workshops enrollment process should be moved to the SFEMS ticketing program, which ended up bringing the box office "back to life."

 Throughout this summer I gained a whole new view of SFEMS from behind my box office table­—albeit virtual. I’ve also gotten to know many more members of the SFEMS community, especially our wonderful faculty!

This has been a great learning experience for me. I even got to take out my old recorder and "play along!" I want to say thank you to my colleagues on the staff. It is my great pleasure to work with these amazing people! And thank you to everyone for your continued support of SFEMS.



Craig Hanson, Box Office & Patron Services Manager

Concert Planning Survey: Give Us Your Input Today!

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 closes TODAY at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 3. It should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.

SFCV Audience Choice Awards: Nominate Your Favorite SFEMS Concerts

Show your love for SFEMS concerts by nominating our concerts for the 2019-2020 San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV) Audience Choice Awards!

Polls close in just two days (August 5), so submit your nominations soon. See below for a list of suggestions from our abbreviated concert season.
Chamber Music Ensemble
Early/Baroque Ensemble
Chamber Music Ensemble
Early/Baroque Ensemble
Chamber Music Ensemble
Early/Baroque Ensemble
Chamber Music Ensemble
Early/Baroque Ensemble
Early/Baroque Music

Thank You for Attending the Virtual Sessions, and Stay Tuned

A fun screenshot from one of this week's 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 extend our heartfelt gratitude to our workshop directors, faculty, assistants, as well as our indefatigable staff.

As we conclude with three final weekday mini-series sessions, we hope you'll join us in the fall for more educational opportunities!

In Memoriam:
Bill McClung

Bill in his element, sitting in front of the cafe.

We mourn the death of Bill McClung, a founder and general partner of University Press Books (UPB) and The Musical Offering Cafe. Bill's passing comes shortly after the closure of UPB's physical location in June after 46 years of operation, though plans are being cooked up to enhance the store's online presence.

Bill's belief in the power of books to unite people socially and intellectually made UPB a haven for generations of Berkeley bibliophiles. For SFEMS and its members, the UPB and The Musical Offering—which remains open and serving customers during these times—have served as a gathering point for numerous pre- and after-concert gatherings, as well as board meetings and annual meetings.

Bill is survived by his wife, daughter, and son. We send our deepest condolences to Bill's loved ones, and the special community he sustained for five decades. In his memory, we ask you to continue supporting both University Press Books and The Musical Offering.

Read more about UPB's closure and current online efforts.


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: Watch a Bach Anniversary Concert

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
On July 28, the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig (Germany), where Johann Sebastian Bach served as kapellmeister for 27 years, held a concert commemorating the 270th anniversary of Bach's death.

The live-streamed concert featured works by Bach, along with members of his family, his predecessor Johann Schelle, and the works of his idol Dieterich Buxtehude.

Click the image above to stream the concert!

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!

Mary Ann Walker Ball
Paul Hauge
Sam Miller
Gibson J. MacMillan
James Hoskins
Caleb L. Carman
Renia Shterenberg
Jess Schreiner
Courtney Beck
Lea Pierce
SFEMS Facebook page
SFEMS website

This Week's Events

Aug 6: Arts@ODU – "Music of the Mayflower"
Aug 8: Santa Cruz Baroque Festival – "The Four Seasons"
Aug 9: Santa Cruz Baroque Festival – "The Four 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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