Dear MYC Families,
Many of you know the backstory of our relationship with Scotland--how, in 2014 and 2016 we participated in the Aberdeen International Youth Arts Festival, the longest-running global youth arts festival in the world. In 2018, the tour to Scotland almost didn't happen because of an unexpected, inexplicable bureaucratic decision by the Aberdeen City Council to withhold funding for the Festival which ended its 40-year history. In early 2018, when we received this news, MYC staff along with our Scottish festival colleagues rallied to create a festival experience for our singers that would allow our tour, already committed to and funded, to go forward. This was possible because there was still festival staff and volunteers in place and basic funding still available for 2018. We were so grateful to our Scottish colleagues for making this happen--they went above and beyond for us in 2018 and it was amazing.
For the past nine months, since we returned from the 2018 tour, we have been in close contact with the core group of former festival staff and volunteers exploring what is possible for a tour in 2020. This week, we came to the conclusion that touring to Scotland in 2020 would not be a possibility. This was not an easy decision and was only made when it was confirmed that there would not be funding nor infrastructure in place in Aberdeen to support us in 2020.
We know this is a huge disappointment for everyone, but most especially for our singers in Capriccio, Cantilena and Cantabile who have been looking forward to this opportunity. We feel that same disappointment but know this is the right decision.
Our Scottish colleagues are working to create a new festival/organization that will be fully funded to provide infrastructure and staff to host us possibly as early as 2021. We don't know and won't know if this is even a possibility until later this year or early next. The timing of their work coincides with when we would be in a position to make a decision for 2021.
We did consider other touring options beyond Scotland for 2020 but were not satisfied that any other options would work for us. In reaching out to other tour companies, we know that (a) a new tour would cost significantly more: at least $1-2K additional, and (b) the kinds of community building experiences with artists from around the world that are created at a festival like that in Scotland are hard to find. We've not been successful in identifying a new tour that provides a similar level of educational and collaborative opportunities within a comparable price range of Scotland. Between now and early next year, we will continue to explore all options for 2021--in Scotland and other potential destinations--as our Scottish colleagues continue pursuing forming their new festival. The timeline for announcing a 2021 tour would be early 2020.
We understand this has a "ripple" effect on everyone and we're not sure what the ongoing schedule for our international tours will be. But, we do know this: touring has become a treasured part of the MYC experience and we remain committed to making it happen. We appreciate your patience and your understanding as we work toward what our options will be for 2021 and beyond. Please reach out to us with any questions.
Thanks, as always, for the goodwill and the trust you place in us.