Weekly Notes From Madison Youth Choirs
Thursday, May 7, 2020
Vision and Hindsight: MYC in May 2020
Here we are! It’s May and for the MYC family this month is traditionally punctuated by celebratory spring concerts and the excitement of looking ahead to next season with auditions and placements--and saying the long goodbyes to our seniors. 

This year, of course, feels different. And we are all feeling the losses in ways we could not have imagined in March when we suspended rehearsals. We are deeply grateful for you--our parents and singers--for staying engaged in the ways you have and for encouraging us and trusting us as we have navigated the ever-changing landscape of these past eight weeks. Thank you for your part in mitigating the loss of not being together by supporting us with your trust and care and displaying the very best of the MYC community--we wouldn’t be here without you!

We want to share with you how we envision this season-like-no-other coming to a close, and provide a glimpse of what is coming next (at least how we imagine it!). And, of course, there are always end-of-season sundries to list. (Don’t worry--we don’t need your concert wardrobe returned just yet!)

Before we do that, and in light of our current unprecedented circumstances, we want to highlight two important MYC ideas that work together to ensure families have the resources to participate in MYC and MYC has the resources to operate: our tuition assistance commitment and our refund policy. In the course of recently reviewing these policies with our board of directors, we were reminded the value of taking time to understand their purpose and to evaluate their effectiveness in supporting their intended outcome--namely, to support our families and support the financial stability of MYC. 

Our tuition assistance commitment to our families is always available for the entire fiscal year. If your circumstances, due to COVID-19 or something else, have changed and the tuition you still owe or have already paid is beyond what you can afford, you are eligible to apply for assistance. The application is always available on our website under the “Members” tab and is straightforward and confidential. If you have financial need, please don’t hesitate to apply. We will be accepting applications through May 31 for this current season. 

Our refund policy (which doesn’t allow for refunds after the first month of participation) reflects the unique commitment made between MYC and each family who registers a singer. Tuition fuels our season, allowing us to financially commit to our greatest assets: the conductors who masterfully design, plan, and deliver the MYC experience, and the administrative staff who underpin the MYC universe. Resources are committed at the beginning of the fiscal year for the upcoming season and expenses are incurred year-round. This is why our performing choir tuition is not based on the number of rehearsals or the length of our season. In fact, every season with MYC is different--different length, different opportunities, different performance and concert schedules. And while we didn’t anticipate COVID-19 and the loss of five rehearsals (and our spring concerts) this semester, we do remember with our Hindsight 2020 perspective the long list of memory-making performance and learning opportunities that arose--additional opportunities that  are never factored into the tuition you pay.* It’s your tuition investment along with the community support of individuals and foundations that creates our year-long cash flow to fund the whole of our programming work, the bulk of which is not immediately visible outside of rehearsal. Thank you for supporting what you don’t necessarily see but that contributes directly to your singer’s experience! 

*We had fun being reminded of these opportunities that arose for our singers this season:
  • Con Gioia and Capriccio joining Cantilena, Cantabile, and Ragazzi with the Madison Symphony last December
  • Purcell, Britten, Holst, and Ragazzi singing with Tallinn Boys Choir from Estonia in early January
  • Choraliers opening the Handel Aria Singers’ Showcase in February
  • Cantabile collaborating and performing with Madison Choral Project in February
  • Last but not least, the multiple high school students, parents, and alumni joining the intergenerational choir at Capitol Lakes!

Looking Ahead 
We have been planning for multiple scenarios for MYC next season and while it’s uncertain what we will be allowed to do, we remain committed to exhausting what’s possible. We are working on creating rosters and an audition/placement process that we hope will create the least amount of stress for our singers and their families in the coming weeks. Our goal is to send invitations to singers in early June for next season--a season, of course, that's contingent upon many public health factors aligning in just the right way.

This invitation will come without any immediate financial expectation. We know that everyone's financial situation is different and so we will continue to offer flexibility to set your own payment schedule around a timeline that works best for you--including the initial deposit to reserve a seat. If you can't afford to make a deposit in June, you won't need to. In addition, our tuition assistance commitment is unwavering and will continue to be available throughout next season. 

Wrapping Up this Season
As the It’s MYChoir Campaign is wrapping up, we will be sending updated statements to families this week so you can see a snapshot of your fundraising progress and be reminded of the myriad ways you are supporting your singer’s participation in MYC--it’s also an opportunity for us to express our thanks to you for that support. There is still opportunity to donate and we’ll provide more details about that with your statement email.

Conductors will continue to be in touch with their ensembles in various ways and our Sunday Afternoon Live sessions on Facebook (posted to YouTube as well) will continue through May. (We won’t be on this Sunday--please spend time with your mom instead!) We have some exciting content to share in the coming weeks so we’ll keep reminding you to tune in! 

When we are able to coordinate with Christ Presbyterian Church, we will make a plan for wardrobe and music return. For now, please keep these items in your care.

Zoom-ing this Saturday
An email was sent to Con Gioia earlier this week with the meeting link for Saturday at 4:30pm. Please email us if you need this information resent to you.

Hindsight 2020 Virtual Concert
Thanks again to everyone who joined us on Sunday for the video celebration of our Hindsight 2020 semester. It was a joy to be together. The video is posted in three parts on our YouTube channel and also publicly available on Facebook via this link for you to enjoy at any time!  
We are always happy to answer your questions. And we’re always happy to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything in this email (or otherwise) please don’t hesitate to be in touch. 

We’re looking forward to watching these next few months unfold--we are hopeful that many things will be possible. Thanks for being part of the MYC community and please hang in there, everyone!