A Letter from CAMA President Bob Montgomery

Santa Barbara, like the rest of the United States and indeed the rest of the world, is under siege by the COVID-19 virus. Many of us are working from home if we are lucky enough to be working at all. Uncertainty faces us all and it seems nearly impossible to anticipate what the next days and weeks will bring. Like virtually all of our fellow performing arts presenting organizations, CAMA has been deeply affected by this pandemic. Orchestras and performers around the globe have now cancelled their planned tours, and it has become clear that none of our remaining planned concerts in the 2019/2020 season can take place as scheduled. Reluctantly, we must announce the cancellation of all remaining CAMA concerts this season through May 2020. The Rotterdam Philharmonic, Chineke! Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra join CAMA in expressing regret that these concerts have been unavoidably cancelled. The cancellations are necessary in the best interest of our subscribers, our ticket holders and also the residents of our community.

We are fully aware that these are difficult times for everyone in our community, State and nation, and they also present serious financial challenges for CAMA and for our colleagues in the performing arts community—perhaps the severest in decades. We understand that many in our audience face financial challenges as well. We hope that to the greatest extent possible our friends and patrons will find ways to help CAMA by donating the remaining value of their subscriptions and single tickets and if possible donating to a CAMA Emergency Fund which we have created to help us weather the financial storm sweeping over us in the wake of the abrupt closure of our season. We will soon be in touch again to clarify the ways donations can be made and where refunds of tickets and remaining subscription values can be obtained.

We look forward to the moment when we can once again welcome our visiting orchestras and musicians to our beautiful concert venues, the Lobero Theatre and Granada Theatre, both of which were built in CAMA’s first decade of existence nearly 100 years ago and which have survived the ravages of earthquakes, depressions, droughts, floods and wars, only to open their doors again to spread the joy of music and the arts to the residents of our beautiful community. We fervently hope this will be the reality as we plan and prepare for CAMA’s 102nd season beginning in October 2020.

Until then, we thank you for your valued patronage during this and past seasons, for your continuing support for CAMA and our fellows in the arts community, and for sharing our passion for the legacy of classical music that has sustained our civilization through the best and worst of times. We are thankful to have had many memorable moments to enjoy during this eventful but abbreviated season—from the garden parties in the fall, the Presidents’ Dinner/Mozart Award event at Birnam Wood, the four stunning Masterseries recitals at the Lobero Theatre and the Royal Philharmonic’s powerful January performance at the Granada Theatre, all the International Series pre-concert lectures, and finally the amazing celebration of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 100th Anniversary Concert earlier this month. In retrospect, we were very lucky to have been able to complete this long-planned, spectacular event, as everything quickly fell apart shortly thereafter. But it was all we were hoping for and a fitting way to honor our century-old partnership with this great orchestra.

With best wishes for your health and well-being,

bob montgomery
Bob Montgomery
President, CAMA Board of Directors