Dear Olympia Symphony family,
As a nonprofit arts organization, our primary role is to serve our community and enrich your lives. We take this responsibility very seriously. We believe in the power of music to unite communities and provide hope and strength in times of crisis and uncertainty. As we face the reality of the COVID-19 global pandemic together, we will continue to "enrich, educate, and entertain" our beloved community, even as we are temporarily separated. We are committed to being a vital part of your lives -- both today, and as we plan optimistically for the future.
The cancellation of the remainder of our 19/20 season due to COVID-19 was financially and emotionally devastating. April 19 was to be Maestro Huw Edwards' final performance on the stage of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts -- a capstone of his 17 seasons with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra. We, like you, are tremendously saddened by the disruption of Huw's final season with us. We are deeply touched by your emails and phone calls expressing your support.
As you can imagine, a cancelled season and uncertain future present unprecedented financial challenges. Thank you for the financial support you have been providing though the donation of unused tickets and direct financial contributions. Your gift enables us to return to the concert stage when health and safety will permit, and provides resources as we explore creative ways to enrich your lives with music as we adapt to this ever-changing situation. Your contributions today ensure symphonic music for the future.
During this crisis, allow the arts to bring you comfort, hope, and joy. Please join us on facebook, instagram, twitter, and YouTube, and check our website for updates about online offerings, such as musical telegrams and live small group music delivery, while we are apart. Also, sign up to receive our email newsletter, so you never miss an update.
With hope and gratitude,
A message from Huw Edwards:
"About this time last year I decided it was time to step down from my position with the OSO, for various reasons both local and international, but I looked forward to a joyous and heartwarming final go around. Who would have ever predicted the way this year has unfolded -- history books will have a big asterisk alongside 2020, as we comprehend and tackle pandemics both old and new -- or that conversation would be dominated with "social distancing", "flattening the curve", "Covid-19", "George Floyd" or "CHOP"? As a conductorial colleague recently quipped, "nobody can ever deny that my final year in Olympia was not memorable!" With over 120,000 deaths in the USA from the Coronavirus I am not complaining; it just is what it is. However, it feels hollow and unfulfilling to have had a valedictory season abruptly truncated, especially as it was going so well and the Orchestra was playing at a fantastic level: the epic Shostakovich Symphony No. 10; sold-out Dvorak New World Symphony with amazing visuals; the standing room-only Christmas Concert (I am so glad this happened this year, doing this event at a packed WCPA was a long-held dream of mine); and the fun Gershwin and Adams concert on February 9 -- which now serves as my swansong.
Although the last few years have been tough and have taken a toll, I leave with nothing but great musical memories and a sense of pride at my 17 years at the helm of the OSO. I have enjoyed calling Olympia my home since 2006 and integrating into this multifarious community. I have met wonderful people here and developed many lasting friendships. The audiences have been incredibly supportive; I feel honored, and am so grateful, to have been your "maestro" since 2003. I do not foresee being back on the podium here, but it would be gratifying, one day, to get to perform a proper send-off concert for you all. I wish the Orchestra well and look forward to hearing of its continued growth and prosperity in years to come."
With my heartfelt thanks and very best wishes, Huw
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