Dear Friends and Family,
The end of the year is upon us, whether we’re ready or not.
I’ve finally come to believe what my parents have been telling me for years: the more living you do, the more quickly time passes. It’s for this reason that, regardless of whether or not I’m in the right “mood” for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ve made an effort in recent years to immerse myself in the season. Even when I feel that December has arrived too early—when I haven’t finished all my tasks at work or accomplished my goals for the year—it’s being surrounded by family and friends, enjoying good food and wine, sitting near a fire in the fireplace, and hearing joyful music that make the season real. Once I’m truly “tuned in,” gratitude comes easily for the year’s opportunities and friends, for my successes, failures, and lessons learned.
Ensemble Companio has much to be thankful for in 2014: several fabulous new singers; a fantastic master class with world-renowned American composer, arranger and conductor Alice Parker; the chance to perform in new cities and venues; and an ever-growing circle of support from our audiences and fans. We are grateful for the opportunities we’ve had the privilege of sharing with one another and look forward to what the future will bring.
In my experience, new possibilities for Ensemble Companio have occasionally arisen from unlikely places. This autumn, I had the great fortune to travel to Portugal and Switzerland for work. While in Carouge, a town just south of Geneva, I found myself in an illustrator’s studio looking for a thank-you card. When I explained that I was in a choir and wanted to thank someone who had given us advice, the artist’s face lit up and she began to ask me all sorts of questions about Ensemble Companio: How large was the choir? How long had we been in existence? What sort of music did we sing? And would we be performing in Switzerland? I was delighted at her warm, immediate interest! As I answered her queries as best I could in my rusty French, I explained that we were a regional American choir, but that one day we did indeed hope to perform outside the Northeastern US.
We’d love to present concerts in such places as Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and yes, perhaps even Europe and Asia. In fact, we’ve received invitations to perform in many of these places already. We don’t currently have the financial means to tour, but it’s definitely on our wish list (along with many more immediate things, like paying for music licensing fees, venue rental, and singers’ childcare during rehearsals). As you’ve undoubtedly seen, last month we kicked off our first annual Drive to Sing to raise $10,000. Thanks to your generosity, we’re well on our way to meeting that goal by the end of our 2014-2015 season. The Matching Gift Challenge has provided an additional incentive to give before the end of the year, and I do hope you’ll consider it.
In the near future, however, we will do our utmost to bring you authentic, inspiring performances of the finest choral music in locations throughout the Northeast. Our rehearsals through the 2015 concert season will include:
January 10-11, 2015 at Union Memorial Chapel at Union College in Schenectady, NY
(we’ll present a free mini concert Sunday at 12:30pm)
February 7, 2015 at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ
February 8, 2015 at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, NJ
March 7, 2015 at Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton, CT
March 8, 2015 at Atria Stamford in Stamford, CT (we’ll present a free mini concert at 11:30am)
We always welcome your listening in on our rehearsals. As a reminder, our Saturday, March 21, 2015 concert will be in Brooklyn, NY, and our Sunday, April 19, 2015 concert will be in Ridgewood, NJ. As soon as we finalize our May 2015 concert, I will let you know!
Happy Holidays from Ensemble Companio! (Video: Ben Lowe)
Thank you once again for your enthusiasm and support for Ensemble Companio—we are ever so grateful for you. As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org