A Message from the President

It was with great reluctance that the Board of Waterloo Chamber Players reached the decision that we must postpone all of the concerts in our planned 2020-2021 season.

We were first forced to postpone our May 2020 concert. This was to have been a celebration of Ben Bolt-Martin’s time with us. We have greatly benefited from his musicianship and creativity for the past seven years and were anticipating performing Beethoven Symphony 7 with Ben conducting, and premiering Ben’s own cello concerto, Among Friends, with Ben playing. Triple threat – conductor, composer and soloist!

Unfortunately, COVID 19 got in the way. The May concert was postponed to the fall of 2020.

We would have started rehearsals in mid September for an October concert. However, our rehearsal venue will not be open until at least November. Even if we were able to find an alternate rehearsal venue, we would have difficulty being able to ensure the safety of our players. We decided in mid August that we would need to again postpone our celebration with Ben.

What about the remainder of the 2020-2021 season? Because of Ben’s departure, the 2020-2021 season was to have been our conductor search season. Our October concert would have been conducted by Ian Whitman. Andrew Chung, with French horn soloist Tony Snyder, would have led the February concert and Kira Omelchenko would have conducted the May concert. We were excited to work with all three of these conductors.

A number of factors contributed to the decision that we had no option but to suspend all of the 2020-2021 season, as has been done by many other orchestras and arts organizations.
    -Could we offer a safe experience, in rehearsal and performance, to our players? 
    -Would we be able to meet the stringent requirements of presenting a concert in a way that was safe for our audience?
    -Would a rehearsal venue be available
    -Would audience members feel safe enough to come to a concert?
    -Would we financially survive a season in which we incurred the costs of presenting concerts but had reduced revenues because of reduced audience size and cancelled fundraising concerts?

We participated in an Orchestras Canada webinar led by the Production Manager of the Toronto Symphony. It was clear that even an organization as large as TSO, with many paid staff, was having a difficult time solving the logistics of presenting concerts in a way that was safe for players and audience.

Consequently, we decided at the end of August to suspend all of the 2020-2021 season.

We look forward to resuming activity in the fall of 2021. Our conductor candidates and soloists are all keen to continue their work with us next season.

We hope that you as audience members and supporters are filling the need for music in your lives by listening to / watching some of the wonderful performances that are available online, perhaps live-streamed by some of the larger orchestras with the human, financial, and technical resources needed for those endeavours.

For us as players, music is a passion. Some of us are limiting our exposure to COVID by playing only on our own. Some feel that they can tolerate the risk of playing in small chamber music groups. But for now, we have had to forego the wonderful experience of live performance of music with our friends and colleagues for a supportive audience.

We trust that you will be back with us in the fall of 2021.

In the interim, we would appreciate any financial support that you are able to give us. We will have some expenses during the 2020-2021 season, even if we are not presenting concerts. Please Donate Here.

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