A Note from Kevin McKeown, Santa Monica High School Director of Bands
Dear Sonoma Tour Students and Parents,
I regret to inform you that this year’s Sonoma/San Francisco tour has been canceled. With the cancellation of two key parts — the Sonoma Wind Band Festival and the San Francisco Symphony — in recent days, and the SF/Sonoma area being deemed as an area of concern for the spread of the “corona” virus, it seemed like the best practice was to err on the side of caution over adventure.
I want to thank our students for their hard work in preparation for the festival, and I hope we will have a chance to share our musical growth with our band family at the spring concert. I would like to thank our school administration and band tour volunteers — especially our key volunteer, Jennifer Smith — for their support during this time.
I am working with our tour company, World Projects, to recoup some of the costs of our tour. I will work with Band Parent Association President Gavin DiMundo on arbitration with our tour company in hopes that there will be some good-faith practices considered during this time. This will take some time to negotiate, and we appreciate your support and patience while we work out an agreement that is fair to us while also being respectful of the many partners involved in our tour (coaching, lodging, musical opportunities).
Again, most importantly, please join me in praising the efforts of our Wind Symphony students. They are making some great sounds, and I could not be more proud of them. It does break my heart that they will not get this opportunity, but what is most important during this time in our shared experience is that we are safe and sound. Our health is our wealth!