Merry Christmas, everyone! (And a belated Happy Hanukkah!)
I'm sitting on my couch with Princess Jasmine and Oliver (my two feline roommates) and reflecting on this day that is so important for so many people...
I've long ago realized that growing up Jewish in Louisiana made religion a more prevalent part of my being than it otherwise might have been. Religion made me a minority, but it also gave me a community and a distinct sense of self. Regardless of belief system, I'll always feel Jewish, and I'll always be thankful to have that firmly rooted cultural identity.
So, when I think about what else makes me feel 'like myself,' I immediately envision my childhood house filled with art, music, and love. I remember the summertime trips to Vermont, and I feel a sense of urgency to create.
I realize now that the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival was born out of those aspects of my upbringing. I hope that I've helped to create an environment filled with art of all kinds; I hope new friendships have blossomed, and old acquaintances are renewed; most importantly, I hope inspiration and love fill my favorite place in the world, Jamaica, VT.
This is all to say... PFCM is moving into our 7th Season! As always, I'm grateful and honored that this festival has been successfully funded each year. I'll be updating the website with 2018 Personnel, Concerts, Events, and Repertoire over the next couple of weeks.
As you might have noticed, this is the first fundraiser for this year. I skipped Giving Tuesday because I felt inundated with requests from other worthy non-profits and thought PFCM's request wouldn't be effective or appreciated. But, 2017 is winding to a close and I would be remiss to not remind everyone that we need your help.
We currently have about $8000 raised out of our $24,000 budget; our goal is to be at the halfway mark by the end of the year... a lofty request, I know, but I hope that as you finalize your year-end donations, you'll consider PFCM for a tax deductible gift. (If you prefer snail mail, the address is below.) As you'll notice, I included a progress thermometer on the donation site; I'll update it daily.
Regardless of whether you feel you can contribute right now, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I'm looking forward to the extra few minutes of sunlight each day, and eventually, another wonderful summer of music and art.
Good afternoon -
Today is the big eclipse! I'm sitting in a coffee shop in my wonderful Queen Village neighborhood getting some work done, and I planning to go for a walk this afternoon with my sun-safe cereal box projector. I had considered driving down to TN or SC to be in the 'path of totality,' but it seems the inertia of finally being home after a summer away has taken over.
In any case, the past two weeks after the festival have allowed for some time for reflection, and I thought I'd share a few thoughts.
First, I have to say a huge thank you to all of you. This season was without exaggeration the most successful we've had, by far. This is because of your participation, support, and attendance... not to mention your patience with allowing for a margin of error on my part.
For next year, I'd love to have better attendance at the kids art and music collaboration. Some years, we've had a huge turnout, and I know there are many variables involved, but this year just didn't quite have the number of young people needed to make the event successful. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm happy to hear them.
However, the portion of the festival that I was most nervous about - the guest artist concerts - worked really well! We'll definitely keep those going next year. Big thanks to the NakedEye Ensemble and Trio Amphion for making the trip to Jamaica.
The Jamaica State Park concerts are fun, and we're always happy to play our first concert of each week in the park. Stay tuned for an awesome addition to these concerts for next year (hint... BBQ and an awesome Jamaica family...).
Thanks also to both Valley Cares Assisted Living and the Latchis Theater for hosting us again this year. We enjoyed our road trips down Rt 30, and hope to continue the partnerships.
I made a big decision this summer. I'm happy to announce Kaitlyn Dougher as our new Managing Director. Kaitlyn will be taking over the day to day runnings of the festival, and will be helping out throughout the year as well... and, she'll have her very own intern! I'm so excited to share more of the internal workings of the festival with Kaitlyn; I know she'll do a wonderful job. (And don't worry... you'll still hear from me.)
Most importantly, everyone loved once again making music in Southern Vermont. Thank you for allowing us to share it with you. (The final concert is still available on Facebook Live, in case you missed it or want to hear it again.) Once I have the mastered recordings from this year, I'll be sure to send out links to those too. Oh, and the visual art program is getting an overhaul for next year, so expect some updates about that.
This is not an email meant to appeal for funding, but if you intended to support the festival this year and didn't yet get around to it, here's the link to donate safely online. As always, donations are tax deductible. Or, if you prefer, the snail mail address is on the Donate to PFCM page.
Once again, thank you. And of course, best wishes to you all as we move from summer's end to the pleasant premonitions of fall.
Good morning, Pikes Falls supporter.
Thank you so very much for making our 6th season a success. Without your contribution, the fundraiser held the risk of being in the red, and I can't thank you enough for all of your generosity.
The Town Hall concerts were well attended, and the entire season had a feeling of growth and promise. THANK YOU.
I'm currently updating the contact list for PFCM. If you don't currently get my emails, and you'd like very sporadic emails (about 5 times during the year, and then daily during the festival), I'd love to be able to add you to the list. Just send me a message, and I'll add you. Of course I'll always share the updates on FB and on the Pikes Falls blog, but email is still the most reliable way to get the information.
Regardless, thank you so much for your help; I'm already thinking about ways to make next year even better.
Good morning... Season 6 is winding to a close.
Can't be in Jamaica tonight, but still want to see the concert? Head to our Facebook page and watch the concert live! In addition to experiencing the concert, you'll be among the first to hear exciting announcements regarding the festival's future.
Yesterday's concerts in Brattleboro both went really well. The town was buzzing from First Friday, and we were glad to be a part. The Latchis was the perfect location to showcase the collaborative work by Joseph Hallman, Sydnea Lea, and James Kochalka; the huge movie screen enveloping the performers brought the images to life alongside the music and recited poetry.
Tonight is our closing concert! Come to the Jamaica Town Hall at 7PM (6:30 for a pre-concert talk with Cartoonist Laureate James Kochalka). The concert has music by Schubert, Francaix, and Hallman (with poetry by VT Poet Laureate Sydney Lea and images by Cartoonist Laureate James Kochalka). Stay after for a reception at North Country General.
The Town Hall is sure to be packed, so make sure you get your seat! Seats are reservable until 4PM today. (And don't forget, if you can't be there, you can still watch virtually!)
Thank you. The ending can at times feel bittersweet, but Season 6 has been the best summer yet.