I have tons of news!
First, the website was looking outdated, and sections of it were admittedly confusing. So, I revamped the entire site, and I think it's looking pretty snazzy.
Next, I'm incredibly happy to announce additional Guest Artists for this summer. The NakedEye Ensemble will be coming to Jamaica and Brattleboro to perform an additional Town Hall concert on Thursday, July 28 and to perform alongside Pikes Falls musicians in Brattleboro on Friday, July 29. NakedEye is an "electro-acoustic ensemble with classical, rock, and jazz DNA. NakedEye commissions and performs seminal works by cross-over and cutting-edge composers." I've been performing with them a bit lately, and each time, I feel a little bit like a rock star. You're going to love NakedEye.
Next up... the Pikes Falls Film Festival! Pikes Falls visual artists are teaming up to continue the screenings of video artists from around the country. The 10-12 minute program will be shown at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro and the Town Hall in Jamaica during the first week of the festival.
Here's the entire listing of concerts and events for the summer. Don't forget we also have a World Premiere with the Inscape Chamber Orchestra, collaboration with the VT Poet and Cartoonist Laureates, and concerts by the Baroque Ensemble Trio Amphion.
Finally... new season means new shirts. We have two options for this year, both on super-cool and comfortable baseball shirts! Click on the shirts to reserve your size now and pick it up at the festival, or I can mail it to you afterward. I'll make the order official on July 8, so please reserve your shirt soon! Shirts will be $25.
Budget-wise, here's where we are: We've raised almost 70% of the $20,000. We need to raise at least $7,000 more over the next month.
We have so many incredible events planned for our sixth season. But, we can't do it without your help.
If you haven't given in the past, but the thought of supporting a grassroots arts endeavor warms your heart, please follow that instinct and donate!
If you've supported the festival in past seasons, please consider donating again.
If you've already given this year, thank you! Can you possibly help a little more - monetarily, by spreading the word, or both?
Here's the poster for this year. Feel free to print it out, pass it around, and post it on social media with a general call for support. We need all the help we can get!
As always, thank you. I'm looking forward to Season 6.
I'm sitting in a warm house in Jamaica, VT; the love of dear friends surrounds me, the fireplace is glowing while the birds (bright yellow! blue! red!) flutter outside the glass door, and believe it or not, a bit of snow lightly dusts the porch and trees.
I've been in VT for a few days, as I generally am this time of year. I'm mainly here to hang signs, stop into businesses to ask for sponsorships, and also to finish arranging the final details of the season.
This weekend, I was lucky enough to be in town for "The Best Little Arts and Crafts Fair in Vermont," which took over Jamaica's Main Street and was just about perfect... complete with Mother's Day painting projects for kids, some of the best falafel you'll ever taste, and too-many-to-count talented potters, jewelry makers, glass blowers, and everything of the sort. I said hello to all the people I've been so fortunate to get to know over the past 5 years, and got to know-better a family that makes me grin from ear to ear.
This is all to say: the people here are wonderful; the town is vibrant. Those of you who live here know that, those of you who visit here know that, and I hope those of you who support the music festival from afar have come to understand how special this place truly is.
When I run into friends I haven't seen for a while (when up in Vermont, or anywhere else), I tend to get the question: "So, how's the music festival going?" And with that comes a bit of elevated anxiety, but then a deep breath and the response "Well, things are basically lined up organizationally. I just have to finish fundraising for this year."
Of course there is more to it than that (housing! repertoire! personnel! advertising!), but I have to remind myself that things have always worked out. In terms of funding the festival, we always manage to raise enough money. Last year was very close, closer than it's ever been, as we had to wait for some matching funds to come through in order to finish paying the musicians, but still... we pulled through without going into the red.
And so, as I get ready to head back toward Philly later today, I want to take this moment of calm to tell you about the state of PFCM for this year. Here's the black/white version: We've raised almost 50% of the $20,000. We need to raise at least $10,000 more over the next 2 months.
Yes, we always manage to do this. Year 6! That's an achievement, by any standard. We have so many incredible events planned for this year. Schubert, Brahms, and Villa Lobos, early music guest artists, the return of the blues band for open mic, another World Premiere (PFCM has commissioned more than 8 so far!) with composers-in-residence, installations by artists-in-residence, collaboration from Vermont Cartoonist and Poet Laureates, an art and music event for kids, concerts at the Jamaica State Park, the Latchis Theater, Valley Cares Assisted Living, and the Jamaica Town Hall... and so much more.
But, we can't do it without your help.
If you've supported the festival in the past, please consider donating again.
If you've already given this year, thank you! Can you possibly help a little more - either monetarily, or by spreading the word, or both?
If you haven't given in the past, but the thought of supporting a grassroots arts endeavor warms your heart, please follow that instinct and donate what you can.
I'm attaching the poster for this year that our talented, patient, and dedicated intern created. Feel free to print it out, pass it around, and post it on social media with a general call for support. We need all the help we can get!
As always, thank you. We're at Season 6, and we're looking forward to when we can celebrate Season 10 in 2021.
Oh, and I hope this goes without saying, but feel free to get in touch anytime; I always enjoy hearing from you.
Good afternoon from Philadelphia -
The past few days have been unseasonably warm. It has been lovely to walk around the city doing errands and enjoy the sunshine. And of course, the warm weather reminds me that Spring will be here soon, and with that... Summer will approach.
Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival's Sixth Season is coming up rapidly!
I'm happy to annouce this summer's repertoire and schedule on our website. Please click on the link and check out everything we have planned...
There is music for everyone, ranging from a whole Baroque concert with Trio Amphion to a World Premiere by Nathan Lincoln Decusatis, and much in-between. We're also finally able to include Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea and Vermont Cartoonist Laureate James Kochalka; thank you to composer-in-residence Joe Hallman for making that happen!
The first time PFCM was held, as it was concluding, an audience member said to me... "Well, how does it feel? You birthed a music festival." And I just kind of laughed and said it has been fun.
It HAS been fun. But I no longer feel like it's something that in any way belongs to me. Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival belongs to the community, it belongs to the visual artists and musicians, it belongs to the people who visit from places near and far, it belongs to every single person who has helped out from Day One.
It is still a labor of love, for sure, but I now think of it as something that I hope to be able to someday pass on to someone else to run. That's the mark of any endeavor being truly successful, right? It has to be able to exist without the founder.
Don't worry... I'm not going anywhere right now, but I feel I have to share these types of thoughts as PFCM morphs and evolves from year to year; I want to stress that we need you.
We need you monetarily to make this year work, of course, and as we keep going, we need you to be there for our successes and failures, and to offer guidance along the way.
The next emails you'll get from me will be announcing all of our wonderful personnel. We have many people returning, and also quite a few new artists.
We have a good start on our budget for this year. Thanks to so many generous donations, we are about a quarter of the way to our goal. This is perhaps a little behind where we usually are in the beginning of March, but I'm not worried. Together, we always make this work.
As always, thank you.
I hope everyone had Thanksgiving filled with wonderful food, loved ones, and fruitful conversations.
No matter where you are on the political spectrum, I think we can all agree that it has been a tumultuous fall. As we settle into the winter and then look forward to summer, I want to give you the Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival dates for our upcoming sixth season.
Concerts will be daily from July 26-30 and then August 2-5. We'll follow the same performance schedule as last year.
Wednesdays, we'll have concerts at the Jamaica State Park. Thursdays we'll be at Grace Cottage in Townshend. Fridays, we'll be at the Latchis in Brattleboro, and both Saturdays, we'll have our Town Hall concerts in Jamaica. Sunday, July 30 will be the Art/Music collaboration and Open Rehearsal, and Open Mic Night.
We also have a couple of other events in the works, and I'll definitely update you as those are confirmed. Repertoire is also coming soon; I'll put this year's selections up on the website as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, we have to get our funding for this year underway. We are incredibly fortunate to have a matching grant offered to us. If we can raise $2000 by December 31, we'll be awarded another $2000. That $4000 (in addition to what we have left from last year) will bring us past the 25% mark of our $20,000 yearly budget.
You can donate safely online here, or else via snail mail:
PFCM c/o Susanna Loewy
912 S. Bodine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Good news: Facebook and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are offering anothermatching opportunity. In addition to the $2000 matching above, the two organizations will match up to $1000 and waive all fees. Donate securely through Facebook here.
Of course, all donations (monetary and in-kind) are tax-deductible.
More good news: Karen Ameden has offered to house us for the two weeks of the festival, so our housing costs are donated. We can't thank Karen enough!
To that end, so many people in Jamaica, Townshend, and Brattleboro have been amazingly generous. Throughout any upheaval and mayhem, when I think of PFCM and Southern Vermont and all the people that support our grassroutes venture, my heart warms and I remember that there is so much love in this world. Music and art are a unifier, a common language. Together, we can move forward.
Thank you all for your support on today's Giving Tuesday, and all year. Our 6th season will be underway soon!