Dear Crowden Friends,
I am updating to let you know about our thoughts regarding the summer and fall. Although the Crowden campus is closed, we are planning for summer and fall operations once we are able to safely reopen. Safety, health, and the well-being of our entire community are paramount, above all. We are currently developing protocols, adapting our facilities, and reimagining our gatherings for a safe reopening. Once we are allowed to safely meet on campus, we will all need to abide by social distancing protocols, hygiene and sanitizing protocols, and the use of personal protective equipment. We are so very fortunate to have the assistance and guidance of several very experienced medical professionals and health experts who are at the front lines of dealing with Sars Covid – 2 (aka COVID–19). Overall, we are feeling hopeful about our future ability to safely hold in-person classes once it is permissible to do so, as well as continuing online learning.
School and Center Closures
Every week we receive new and changing information. I am heartened to let you know we are planning to meet again as a school community in September. We are working to develop Crowden protocols and plans B and C, which may include distance learning periodically. Please stay tuned as we wait for further city and county guidance, and work through all of these issues.
Current Crowden School students and families should continue to expect the Crowden School Newsletter on a weekly basis. Please continue checking it for changes and updates.
Summer programs, at this point, are expected to begin in July, although these programs may need to shift to August or be canceled altogether. We have tentatively shifted a number of summer programs into August. The shelter-in-place has not yet been lifted in the City of Berkeley, or Alameda County, so we await further instruction and guidance from City of Berkeley and Alameda County Public Health about what will be allowed. This too has been changing weekly, so I thank you for your flexibility and patience! Again, we won’t reopen until we can do so safely for students, teachers, and staff. Our Summer Programs Coordinator, Rachel Ahrenstorff, is keeping faculty and families up-to-date regarding specific programs, and we will continue our weekly emails updates to keep our enrolled families informed and in touch with Crowden’s community education.
We have suspended all public in-person performances, recitals, and rentals until we receive notice from Alameda County that we may be able to resume gatherings of whatever size. As Alameda County has moved into limited Stage 2, we are preparing protocols to be able to open on a limited basis as well, when the time comes.
Our building remains closed to all but essential staff. There is a skeleton crew of here to continue administrative, financial, and facility functions. Most of our faculty and staff are working from home. If you have any questions, please email us directly, or leave a message on our general line 510.559.6910. Please be patient as our response may be several days delayed.
I remain inspired by our Crowden community, and I continue to be so very grateful to our students, faculty, and families.
Sometimes, all of the change and loss around me does feel overwhelming… but all it takes is a kind act, a wave from a stranger, or the simple acknowledgment from the knowing eyes of another person to lift my spirits. I continue to be inspired by the dedication from our teachers, to not only teach the subjects they love but to pass on that passion, and by our students who are trying so hard to continue to learn at a distance and make the best of it. My staff and I are always trying to figure out various 'what-if’s' regarding ways to meet up, continue our goals, or simply see each other safely. One thing is clear: we cannot lose sight of our human expression and soul. I firmly believe Crowden will survive—we will get through this to the other side—and I believe we will be stronger for it.
If you feel like it, please have a listen to another Crowden School favorite, Dvořák's Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, Poco Adagio. This gorgeous performance features the Vienna Piano Trio: David McCarroll, violin (a Crowden School alum!), Stefan Mendl, piano, and Clemens Hagen, cello.
In the next few weeks, we are hopeful that the State of California and local governments may provide us with more direction and information about the summer and fall. Until my next note, stay well, be strong and keep your souls singing!
Executive and Artistic Director, Crowden Music Center
"Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife." ― Kahlil Gibran
"Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." ― Leonard Bernstein
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." ― Victor Hugo
"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." ― Maya Angelou