SFEMS 2018 Annual Meeting

Board and Staff Changes, BFX and Affiliates Reports

The San Francisco Early Music Society held its annual membership meeting at Berkeley’s Musical Offering café and record store on Wednesday evening, September 12. After some pleasant socializing, lubricated with excellent wines and other refreshments donated by board members, the meeting got underway with President Joyce Hamilton State of the Society report.

Joyce reviewed our accomplishments over the past 12 months, highlighting board development, fundraising, the work of our committees, our summer workshops, the affiliates program, and the Berkeley Festival. Read the full text of Joyce’s address for details.

This coming year, SFEMS faces a number of special challenges because of board and staff turnover. Two prominent board members, John Phillips and William Langston, both past presidents of the Society, are retiring from the board after long service to our community.

In June Robert Cole also retired as Artistic Director of the Berkeley Festival, which he founded three decades ago, and which has become a major contribution to both the cultural and artistic life of the Bay Area and the international early music scene. Read more about Robert’s contributions here.

Our present Executive Director Harvey Malloy also recently announced that he will be stepping down from his position as Executive Director on October 1. Harvey’s work during the past 10 years has been transformational. He oversaw the change of our newsletter and calendar to a fully online, web-based format, as well as the redesign of the SFEMS website. His ability to create partnerships and collaborations with both presenters and performers has allowed us to present SFEMS performances at Stanford University and Grace Cathedral. He negotiating skill also has brought us special performances by international artists, including the Breathtaking! concerts by Bruce Dickey and Hana Blažíková last season, the 2016 appearance of Stile Antico, and this season’s performances by the Choir of New College Oxford, Iestyn Davis and Thomas Dunford, and the Musicians from the Valley of the Moon Festival. Harvey has always been on top of all of the details regarding our various concert venues, and his management of the Berkeley Festival has been crucial to its success, with his attention to every detail and oversight of staff. Harvey has helped tremendously in fundraising, bringing in several major donors. He has always been an outstanding representative of SFEMS to our audiences and the community. And he is a great wine sommelier at receptions! He will be missed.

SFEMS Administrator Jessica House Steward has agreed to take over as interim ED until the search for a new Director is concluded. SFEMS also has hired Stacy Helley as administrative assistant to take over certain other aspects of Harvey’s work Stacy recently earned a DMA in early music from USC; we welcome her to the Society’s staff.

Randy Matamoros gave an insightful and well documented report on performances, attendance, and revenues at last June’s Berkeley Festival, as did Harvey Malloy on our Affiliates program. Three groups, the Virtu Ensemble, Nash Baroque, and the Peralta Consort, became new SFEMS affiliates this year, bringing our total number of affiliates to 33. SFEMS awarded over $4,000 to affiliates this past year, through funding from the California Arts Council. These included $500 to the East Bay Recorder Society to support the Headlands Workshop and provide 2 scholarships to that event; $400 to Flauti Diversi to support the hiring of a sound engineer to record their CJC concert last March (hear a sample of  the recording on Soundcloud); $1,000 to the Gallimaufry Chamber Chorus in support of their Medieval Bestiary program, which included a semi-staged performance of Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon & the Manticore; $300 to Tactus to support 3 concerts of Renaissance vocal music in El Cerrito and San Francisco; $750 to Vajra Voices to support their workshop for singers and conductors, focusing on performance practice of medieval vocal works by Machaut; and $1,000 to Wildcat Viols in support of CD graphic design and production of their recording of the complete, 4-part Purcell fantasies for viol, as well as selected works of Locke and Legrenzi.

The members present elected the new Board for 2018–19: Robert Cole, Marie Bertillion Collins, Gloria Eive, Juliette Faraco, Cherie Grant, Violet Grgich, Joyce Johnson Hamilton, Randy Matamoros, Steven Rood, Reed Schmidt, Bill Stewart, Michael (Mike) Stewart, Elizabeth Wilson, and Kent Young. Officers, elected at the first Board meeting, immediately following the Annual meeting, are Joyce Johnson Hamilton, President; Gloria Eive, 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 sfems@sfems.org or at 510-528-1725.

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Written by Jonathan Harris
San Francisco Early Music Society