Welcome to this year’s edition of our newsletter, the Postcard from Swannanoa.
2020 has been a year like no other, and as you read this, we are still trying to navigate a world of uncertainty.
As most of you probably know, like every other summer music program, we had to cancel our in-person workshops last March.
The college made a painful choice, but there is no doubt it was the right one. Spring was bleak, as we all hunkered down at home and watched the news, which seemed to go from bad to worse. We all got used to wearing masks when we had to go to the store, standing well apart from other people, and keeping small bottles of hand sanitizer in our cars, our offices, our purses and pockets. We washed our hands a lot and learned to have friends over by setting up lawn chairs spread out across the front yard, and speaking a little louder than usual so we could be heard through our masks.
As summer approached, with its sad reminder of the shared community we would all be missing, we asked our staff instructors to make video greetings for all of their absent students, which we would post on a special page at our website each day during the instructors’ programs. We were hoping to be able to post two per day, which would have been 70 videos. Out of 120 total instructors, we were gratified to receive videos from 98 of them, which you can still watch here. As they came in, I noticed that many of my staff were growing beards while isolating, so I decided to let mine grow, too. It was my ‘pandemic hobby’.
Then, since community works both ways, we gave those who signed up for the 2020 workshops the opportunity to make video greetings of appreciation for all the staff members they would be missing. You can watch those also, on the “Community Videos” page at our website.
This year’s newsletter is necessarily shorter than in the past, since we don’t have the summer’s workshops to report on, but we still have some news to report, and the publication of our newsletter is what always signals the beginning of the pre-registration period for next summer.
Check out the “Coming Next Summer” section for a sneak preview of what we have planned for 2021.