Dear ABO Family:
Sorry for two back-to-back emails – that's not normally our style, as you know! Some of you have already addressed the issue discussed in this email, and we're so grateful for that!
You may or may not be aware of the fact that today, May 5, is "Giving Tuesday Now" in the US. Obviously Giving Tuesday is normally reserved for the Tuesday after Black Friday in November, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.
Though we've cancelled June's programs, and possibly the rescheduled April program as well, we're committed to doing what we can to help our musicians, many of whom have lost all of their income. Some larger organizations, like New York's Metropolitan Opera, have cut their musicians off, forcing some to move in with relatives or burn through their savings to survive, but ABO is taking a different route.
Despite the possibility of cancelling 40% of our season this year, and despite being a very small organization with limited financial means (the Met's budget is about 3,333 times larger than ours), we are doing what we can to soften the blow for our musicians by paying a portion of their missed engagements.
To be able to do this without jeopardizing our ability to continue when this crisis has passed, we need your help. We know that many are out of work or otherwise in financially dire straits at this time, but if you are able to help, our musicians would be greatly appreciative – simply click here to donate through our Facebook fundraiser (they charge us no fees), or here to donate securely through our website. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law (if you donate through Facebook and would like a receipt, email us so we have a way to get one to you).
About 67% of our total budget goes directly to musicians, and all donations given now will go toward compensating our colleagues. An ensemble is only as good as its musicians, and ABO is so incredibly talent-wealthy. Please help us ensure that our players and vocalists emerge as unscathed as possible from this crisis so that we can once again be together for music-making.
Don't forget to follow us on our social media and content sharing platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud! We're adding content more regularly now that we have a little more time to get around to it!
We look forward to the next time we can all join together to enjoy the music that we all love so much. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your support now, and for the past nine years. Please take care and stay healthy — we hope to be together with you all as soon as is safely possible.
Billy Traylor – Artistic Director & Founder
Stephanie Noori – Concertmaster
Hannah McGinty – Chorusmaster
Chelsee Sandaker – Ensemble Administrator