We are so excited to present our first-ever Virtual Chamber Series this season! FMMC is determined to not let music stop in the face of the pandemic, but also equally determined to proceed as safely as possible. We hope that this series will provide you a welcome escape for an hour once a week from the end of September through the beginning of December.
While the most up-to-date place to find program details and dates/times is our calendar at fmmc.org/calendar, we also wanted to build a place where we could answer the most frequently asked questions and help make this brand new experience accessible for audiences as well as performers!
These concerts will be available on our YouTube page and Facebook page. Zoom is not involved at all. You will not have to log in to view these videos or have a special link to access them, you’ll just have to tune in at their scheduled premiere time and click play!
These concerts are taking place on each Friday at noon, October 2–December 18, 2020, as well as the following select Tuesdays at noon: September 29, October 13, October 27, November 24, and December 15! For specific program details and dates/times, visit fmmc.org/calendar.
Good question! We tried to keep the schedule of concerts as consistent as possible so that they can become a regular part of your week, but it’s still a lot to remember. To help with that, we are sending a weekly email (likely a day or two before the performance) with the specific links to the concert on both Facebook and YouTube. The video won’t be available until its premiere time, but the link will be available in advance for you to bookmark if you choose. To ensure you receive these emails, you can register for our mailing list here.
Another way to keep tabs on these concerts is to subscribe to our YouTube channel! If you click on the link to our YouTube channel, it should take you to a page that looks similar to the one seen here. If you have a Gmail account, you also have a YouTube account and can sign in to subscribe. You’ll then get notifications about new videos that we have released.
Lastly, you can also set reminders for yourselves on the actual videos. When we publish the link on both YouTube and Facebook, there will be a button on each video to set a reminder when the video is slated to go live. Simply click it, and you’re all set! Here are two examples of those buttons:
Concerts will only be available for two weeks from the time of their premiere. Members who participate receive a copy of their specific recording, but the full concerts are only available for this limited time.
We are slated to begin in-person concerts again in January, but we are absolutely assessing the situation on a daily basis and will adapt as necessary in the coming months. It might be that we will reconfigure our normal Chamber Series in the spring to be virtual as well; we are simply waiting to see what happens with regards to the coronavirus pandemic.
We are partnering with Paul Ritterhoff to record all of our concerts, apart from those taking place at Blue House Studios. Performers receive a detailed recording schedule a week before their recording session, which includes arrival times, logistics, and a reminder of our safety procedures. Performers then record to an empty venue as if there is an audience, providing commentary on the pieces as well. We then compile the footage and splice it together to create a full program.
We selected the venues for this project due to their high air volume, quick air turnover and ventilation, quality acoustics, and adequate distancing space. For each recording session, we are in a venue for at least two hours (1 hour for Blue House) and develop a recording schedule so that each performer/performance group will be in the space without any others present. Performance groups are primarily soloists and duets with a handful of trios and quartets throughout the fall, allowing us to limit the amount of people in the room to our managing director, recording engineer, and musicians. Performers are distanced at least 6 feet (larger for woodwinds, brass, and vocalists). In addition, we have built in 10-15 minutes of downtime between performance groups to ventilate the space, sanitize all surfaces, and step outside, weather permitting. Performers are required to wear a mask until immediately before and immediately following their performance. They are encouraged to wear them during the performance, if possible. Lastly, we limit each program to feature only one woodwind, brass, or vocal work and engineer the recording schedule so that those instruments record last on the program to avoid further spread of aerosols and droplets.
We have also created a participation form and waiver to aid our participants in determining whether they can participate based on their risk level, interaction with different persons and locals, and potential symptoms. Every musician that participates in the series is required to submit this form and attest to their ability to participate. FMMC is doing everything it can to ensure that these recording sessions are as safe as possible, and we greatly appreciate that our participating musicians are doing the same.