May 15, 2020
Dear Willamette Girlchoir Families,
We hope this letter finds your choir member and entire family well during this unprecedented time. WGC is grateful for your support and we are writing to provide you with an update on where we stand as an organization in relation to COVID-19. For 29 years, WGC has provided opportunities for young women to find joy in music and friendship even as they develop their vocal skills and learn confidence through performing. We remain committed to our core mission and values; however, WGC is facing an uncertain future.
The immediate future of choirs, in general, is at risk. Current restrictions on the number of individuals allowed to gather directly impacts the ability of choirs to meet in person as well as to perform for an audience and this is true for WGC. The act of singing is being labeled as a “super spreader” and, in accordance with Marion County’s proposal to reopen, singers wearing masks would need to maintain 12 feet between them or 24 feet if not wearing masks. Logistically, we are left with few options and our first priority is, of course, everyone’s safety.
As a small, non-profit organization WGC operates on a very thin margin and we are funded almost entirely through tuition dollars and the proceeds raised from our concerts and fundraisers. We purposefully strive to keep operating and tuition costs low to ensure participation is open to the largest number of girls possible. After paying for basics such as the girls’ uniforms and maintenance, music, facility rental and administrative costs we have a small cushion of seed money we use to start again each fall. With our major spring fundraiser (flower baskets) and the final concert both cancelled our cushion for moving forward is almost non-existent. We remain optimistic and are monitoring the ever-changing situation with an eye towards welcoming your choir member back in September to a safe environment while remaining in compliance with any legal restrictions.
While the future of our organization is uncertain we are certain of our dedication to your girls. We care about them and love making music with them. We love seeing their confidence and skills develop. We miss them and value you as a member of our WGC family. We believe every voice matters!
We will stay in touch and keep you updated as we move through the next few months. In the hopes we will reopen in the fall we ask everyone to please return their WGC dress or skirt before the end of the month. The WGC t-shirts are yours to keep and wear proudly!
Mrs. Brown has volunteered to put a plastic bin on her front porch and you can drop off your dress or skirt anytime. There will be a folder inside the bin that will have all the girls’ names listed, please cross off your name when you return your skirt/dress. There will be a little treat for each girl inside the tub as well. Mrs. Brown’s address is below.
Again, we are disappointed, but shall remain cautiously optimistic. Please stay healthy and safe. We look forward to singing together again!
Carrianne Rhodes, Executive Director
DeLee Brown, Artistic Director
Mary McRobinson, WGC Board President