Dear SFGC Community,
It has been a tumultuous week in the public life of our country, and as we – the staff of the SFGC – convened yesterday morning to resume our work together, we began to talk about what that work means in the bigger picture. You all are part of this work.
Our role is to inspire, by showing what heights of artistic excellence can be achieved by the very young, and to make the image and voices of young women more visible and audible in our society. We – staff, faculty, and choristers alike – share the joy of mastering a craft, of striving together for the highest level of musical expression, and sharing inspiring performances with diverse audiences. Our singers are artists first, and we are custodians of their artistry, starting from the time they walk into their first rehearsal. A happy by-product of this artistic focus is that we are igniting the ambitions and aspirations of young women within a larger community of advocates.
But this week we’ve been thinking about how our singers are also witnesses to history. They are called upon to be ambassadors of the city and sometimes of the whole country, and it is their achievement that places them in this important ambassadorial role. As a member of the SFGC in the 1980’s, Lisa sang at the Democratic National Convention at which Geraldine Ferraro was on the ticket as Walter Mondale’s running-mate; we greeted Queen Elizabeth on the pier as she stepped off the QE2; we welcomed President Mitterand to City Hall; we sang at the celebration of 300 years of German-American friendship in Krefeld, West Germany. Years later, our singers helped to usher in President Obama at the 2008 inauguration.
These experiences place our young singers in unique proximity to events on the world stage and shape their understanding. Now, as an organization we advocate for this new generation and see how SFGC’s presence in public life is a clarion call to all young women to be visible, to make their voices heard.
Our singers have the opportunity to testify to history.
Let’s celebrate and champion the important work we do together – it has never been more relevant or more fulfilling than at this moment.
We thank you for your continued support.
Lisa Bielawa, Artistic Director
Shelton Ensley, President, Board of Directors