Dear Avaloch Music Community,
I am writing from Jerusalem shortly after America suffered (at least) its 100,000th Coronavirus death. These events put the cancellation of our 2020 season in perspective. However, for all of us – staff and residents – the current chaos and sadness only highlight losses that have taken many different forms. Most immediately, too many of our friends have had their lives massively disrupted. Some have lost their livelihood and the opportunity to practice their art. Hopefully, none has suffered the ill-effects of infection, but, in a sense, we are all infected. The ability to plan our lives has been abruptly curtailed. We do not know what portends with either the pandemic or our civil society. Uncertainty has taken new meanings. Given this reality, I want to share with you our thinking about Avaloch and our hopes for the future.
In the few years since we opened in 2013, Avaloch Farm has forged a community. As a philanthropist, I am more than gratified. Our Tauber Family Foundation that supports this venture is run like a business. We have resources that we invest in social capital. The measurement of success is difficult to gauge, but our extraordinary 2018 season was marked by four Grammy nominations and a libretto written by Richard Powers based on his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Overstory. These public recognitions only confirm the general level of excellence that characterize our residents. I am immensely proud of this success.
To support our operations requires an administrative staff. Until recently, we ran Avaloch from our business office in Bethesda, Maryland. The process was cumbersome and inefficient. So, during the past winter months we did some shuffling of personnel. Deb is currently serving as Artistic Director. This will enable her to focus on the artistic aspects of Avaloch’s activities that now includes the new live-stream concert program. And with that shift, we hired Mason Donovan to run operations. As Interim Executive Director he is responsible for all administrative functions. He has already stream-lined payroll, established a comprehensive mailing list, drawn an inventory of past residents, contracted for future solar power installation, revamped our social media, and a host of other changes that will improve operations and coordination with our Board.
I am enthused about Mason joining our team. Some of you might remember him attending (with his husband, Mark Kaplan) Friday night concerts. They live near-by and have been avid supporters. Mason has vast operations business experience and broad connections locally, which will become increasingly important in the coming years as we adjust to the New Order (whatever that will be). I expect you will feel his presence in new out-reach activities, indeed, staying connected seems increasingly important. From a personal vantage, I feel much relieved to have Mason assume many responsibilities I have carried and excited to add an innovative member to Avaloch’s leadership team.
As for next year, we all assume we can resume our residency program. In the meantime, Stay Safe!
Sending each and everyone of you warmest and best wishes for our future.