Dear Supporters, Subscribers, Friends and Ticket Holders,

Hello, I’m Philip Barnes, Artistic Director of the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus. As you know, the Chamber Chorus canceled our April concert because of the challenges that coronavirus presents to singers. As a disease that attacks the respiratory system, COVID is particularly dangerous for singers, as we have seen with tragic effects in Washington State. But of course, the virus threatens all of us when we’re in close proximity, and so protecting you, our audience, was also uppermost in our minds as we took the decision to cancel. That, alas, has turned out to be prescient, as we now know, living under stay-at-home orders of our state and local governments. In order to safeguard you and our singers, we’ve realized that we must conclude our season now – without the May 31st finale. While we can’t know where we will be by the end of May, as we flatten the curve of infections, it’s clear that we will not have sufficient time to rehearse the repertoire, and we must remain cognizant for the health and wellbeing of our singers. Simply, it’s too soon to bring together performers and audiences.

I know you’ll appreciate our reasoning and I’m grateful for your support during these challenging times. It’s at a crisis like this that maintaining a loyal supporter base is crucial; that’s why I am so grateful that you have supported us this season. I know that you value our contribution to the musical life of St. Louis, and I know that you want to keep this art form alive, both for now, and for the next generation.

Against the gloom of today I want to share with you some good news; it may be obvious, but it’s worth saying out loud. People like to sing. Around the globe, and in innumerable ways, we find the voice to be that most personal of musical expressions. Perhaps that’s why, when used effectively, singing has the power to move the listener like no other. Not for nothing do we have in popular culture on television programs like The Voice; with no disrespect to my brass playing friends, can you imagine a prime time television show called The Trombone? So, when the pandemic has passed, people will want to gather once more and sing together, and friends like you will want to come together to salute their singing. There will be a Chamber Chorus in the future, and you will once again take your place in the audience, ready to appreciate and applaud. I suspect that having been deprived of such live performances, neither you nor I will ever take them for granted again.

You will want to be there when singers silenced for many months will again give voice to some of the most beautiful pieces in the choral canon. Immersing yourself in such an elemental form of music is something you can look forward to now. As our next concert season approaches, I will record a short film to introduce you to the repertoire we’re working on for Season 65, reveal the stories behind the music, and whet your appetites for another great season from St. Louis’s finest a cappella choir. That preview will be exclusively available for current subscribers as well as subscribers to next year’s concert season. This is just part of my thanks to our subscribers, and gratitude for our community's belief that what we are doing with the Chamber Chorus really matters. So until then, please stay well, and stay safe.

© 2020

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus

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