Your Support Matters!
Perhaps you had tickets for Princeton Pro Musica’s performance of Annelies in March 2020. Little did we know when we were forced to cancel that concert that the whole world was beginning to shut down. In the weeks that followed, performing arts groups faced difficult decisions about their immediate futures made more challenging by a paucity of clear information, as we all tried to learn about and understand the spread of a novel disease. But for the sake of the safety of all of us, we, like so many in the arts sector, were forced to cancel the remaining concerts planned for that season. Soon it would become clear that COVID wasn’t going to disappear any time soon and that the 2020-2021 season might also be in jeopardy.
In May 2020, I attended a seminar, attended by thousands of leaders of musical groups across the country, that convened epidemiologists, engineers, public health experts, and others to share their findings about the risks associated with singing and playing instruments. Their conclusion: no reasonably safe return to rehearsing and performing would be possible until vaccines were developed, which could take years. “Years?!? I thought.” I signed off completely deflated and disheartened, wondering if I needed to start considering careers other than conducting live music; wondering, anxiously, what would become of our group without the love of singing, together, that binds us and connects us to our audience?
But that same spring, you, our supporters, stepped forward to help us continue to pay our staff, our soloists, and our rent. You assured us you were still with us. Where some groups went entirely dormant (or, heartbreakingly, simply had to fold), you inspired us to plan a virtual 2020-2021 season. Starting in September 2020, we resumed weekly meetings, and undertook a full program of new, online activities. We taught ourselves how to make music digitally, and you watched the performances we created for you. You were generous at year’s end.
And now, because of your support, I’m absolutely delighted to announce we made it through our hiatus from live performance intact, robust, and ready to present a full season of outstanding programs, which began with the November 7 Journey Home concert performed at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton and continued with Comfort & Joy to the World, performed at Patriots Theater in the Trenton War Memorial on December 12.
The group has welcomed back its pre-pandemic members and some outstanding new singers. We’ve been rehearsing since September and are sounding better than ever. We’ve booked our venues and hired some very fine instrumentalists and professional singers. We’re abuzz with excitement and eagerness about being able to join you in concert soon, sharing beautiful music in beautiful spaces.
We’re also abuzz with the excitement of some great news. During our time away, we submitted recordings of our past programs to The American Prize national music competition and Princeton Pro Musica shared first place in the Choral Performance, 2021 – community division! It seems that a panel of distinguished judges heard the quality of performance that you know to expect from Princeton Pro Musica.
Though we haven’t had any revenue from tickets or fundraising events, your generosity during our hiatus from live performance, careful financial stewardship, and our diligence in seeking and earning some public support has allowed us to get started this fall.
We’re ready to go, but we can’t do it without your continued support. We yearn to bridge the distance and isolation of this year and a half by having our music reach your ears and hearts directly, not via wi-fi but via actual, physical vibrations. The telepathic communication in an ensemble that arises from shared pulse and the unification of energy and intent into a single artistic expression, and the electricity between ensemble and audience, are impossible to achieve via internet-based platforms. On the heels of the most unusual season in our history, if you’re with us, we’re confident this will be our best season yet. You can make your donation online in support of our 2021-2022 season and help make live performances a reality once again!
With our gratitude,
Ryan James Brandau, Artistic Director
Jan Johnson, Board President
P.S. Stay tuned for announcements about our exciting Spring concerts!!