New Board Elected, Robert Cole Honored
The San Francisco Early Music Society held its annual membership meeting at Berkeley’s Musical Offering café and record store on Sunday evening, September 15. After some pleasant socializing, lubricated with good wine and other refreshments donated by Board members, attendees were treated to a mini-concert by SFEMS Affiliate Nash Baroque (Vicki Melin, baroque flute; Farley Pearce, viola da gamba; and Katherine Heater, harpsichord). The ensemble performed Jean-Philippe Rameau’s “Le Vezinet” from the Premier Concert in his Pièces de Clavecin en Concert, as well as a Pastorale and movements from Sonata III in Nicolas Chédeville’sIl Pastor Fido, the collection Chédeville notoriously and quite successfully published and passed off as Vivaldi’s Opus 13.
The meeting then honored Robert Cole, who is stepping down from the SFEMS Board of Directors, after serving for the past six years. Longtime Board member and patroness of the arts Marie Bertillion Collins, former SFEMS President John Phillips, and current President Joyce Johnson Hamilton took turns reminiscing about Robert and expressing our community’s deep gratitude for his three decades of service both to SFEMS and to the broader early music community in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Robert, who was the first director of Cal Performances—which he made into the premier presenting organization on the West Coast—used his considerable artistic acumen and organizational skill to envision and create our Berkeley Festival and Exhibition in 1990, with the able assistance and collaboration of Joseph Spencer, Laurette Goldberg, Lee McRae, and others. He remained the Festival’s Artistic Director until his retirement from Cal Performances in 2009, and then returned after SFEMS assumed full curatorship of the Festival in 2012, helping to realize highly successful events in 2014, 2016, and 2018. During this period, he also became president of SFEMS, serving from 2015–2018. There is no question that Robert’s leadership, artistic vision, and labor of love brought extraordinary talent and music to our concert halls, created unique and powerful experiences for our audiences, and helped make the Bay Area a world center for historical performance. Incoming Executive Director Derek Tam spoke about carrying Robert’s legacy forward, his deep affection for SFEMS and the Musical Offering, and his desire to work together with the Board and membership to sustain and grow our community.
The evening ended with members discussing ideas and concerns about artist selection for the concert series, the benefits of SFEMS membership, and participation in Board meetings.
The members present elected our new Board for 2019–20. They are: Jeffrey Angell, Marie Bertillion Collins, Gloria Eive, Juliette Faraco, Cherie Grant, Violet Grgich, Joyce Johnson Hamilton, Randy Matamoros, Barbara Ruvolo, Reed Schmidt, Bill Stewart, Michael (Mike) Stewart, and Kent Young. Officers, elected at the first Board meeting, which took place the following night, are Joyce Johnson Hamilton, President; Gloria Eive, Vice President; Reed Schmidt, Vice President; Juliette Faraco, Secretary; and Randy Matamoros, Treasurer.
If you would like to become more involved with SFEMS, there are many ways, and we value your participation. If you have ideas or concerns about improving the organization or our programs, please contact any of these board members or officers via email@example.com or at 510-528-1725.