We hope you are all keeping well and safe. As we enter our fourth month of necessary social-distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, we remain committed to keeping our connection with you as strong as possible despite the mandated safe distance we must maintain. We hope you have been able to take in and enjoy our educational video podcasts and short concert excerpts as a relief from new stresses or as touchstones to a cherished cultural experience. We thank you for your appreciative and encouraging messages and other means of support to us - you inspire us to keep going!
With every crisis comes opportunity: we are poised to learn so much at this time, especially as this crisis pulls back the curtain on profound systemic pain within our society. We are hopeful that broader and more complete awareness of the excruciating oppression of people of color and other marginalized groups will bring everyone to a better place as we find our way and make vital changes at this crossroad.
Right now, so much remains in flux throughout so many facets of our lives. And there is no known or even approximate “end date,” like we might have experienced in previous crisis situations. For professional musicians, this means we are unable to do what we are called to do, and we are learning to sit zen-like, not asking the unanswerable question “for how long?” (it will be very long), and instead needing to seek new ways to create and to survive.
For all of us, having the “assumed” and routines of “normal” suddenly vanished from our day-to-day has been challenging, to say the least. But there have been silver linings: we are given the opportunity to learn what is important - what we value most - as we each have the chance to notice what we notice.
One of the things we have noticed is a heightened awareness of person-to-person relatedness. Have you, too, felt and noticed a new sense of connectedness (albeit socially-distanced) with fellow humans as you go out for walks or do your necessary errands? “We are all in this together,” is the loving mantra. We believe that this increasing awareness - recognition - of each person as an individual may be helping our collective understanding of how inequitable societal structures have so hurtfully impacted disadvantaged groups which are comprised of real individuals. Real. Individuals. Fellow humans. This can be the underpinnings for true progress.
In considering this opportunity for positive change, one of our colleagues pointed out that Old Post Road’s mission from the outset has been a positive force in our own (admittedly relatively small) corner of contribution to society. We endeavor to bring a fuller picture of the past to audiences today - we reveal the broader creative forces at work in Classical music of past centuries by including in our programs little-known or rediscovered composers, lost to audiences for centuries, rather than just performing works by the composers whose busts wind up on mantelpieces. Each of those beloved masters worked within a community or communities of other cutting-edge musicians who were each pioneering the way forward with their own unique voices, imbued with daring, new ideas. Without a doubt, this atmosphere collectively challenged and inspired everyone’s development. We thus believe that the experience of any particular Age is enriched by including more creative voices than those who remain in the current cultural vernacular.
As we navigate our way forward into the 2020-21 season, we are quite aware that we will not be able to bring you the fascinating and exciting four programs we had originally planned for our subscription series of public concerts. Those programs may go on hold until 2021-22 or may be re-tooled spontaneously as the in-flux state of things evolves. It feels cruelly ironic that singing, playing the flute, and gathering in historic intimate spaces for more than 10 minutes - all things which usually provide uplifting experiences and promote emotional well-being - are precisely some of the things that put all at the greatest risk for the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We therefore are turning our creative attention to bringing you new music-making through online means for at least the start of the upcoming season. Stay tuned for more on this as summer approaches!
Suzanne Stumpf and Daniel Ryan