CATHERINE SHAW, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Well, hello there! It’s been a while, and we’ve lived through so much since the last time we saw each other in person. It honestly feels a little odd to be writing you all again, especially since I’m writing to say goodbye: I have chosen not to sign on with TWC for this fiscal year.
At first when the thought that it was time to leave TWC popped into my head, I smacked it down pretty hard, but it was a very persistent thought that just kept popping back up again (picture me playing a very frustrating game of whack-a-mole here). But when I finally gave myself space to sit with the possibility of letting go of TWC, I realized that it was time for me to close this chapter and leave myself open for something new. There were a lot of reasons for that, but they mostly boil down to an overwhelming feeling of peace and rightness around the idea of leaving, despite the sadness of saying goodbye.
We’ve been through a lot in the last six years! First Karleena, the chorus’s founder and director, got sick, so I rather hesitantly volunteered to fill in for her as we waited for her recovery. And then she passed, and we spent a year grieving and trying to figure out whether or not we wanted to continue as a chorus and organization without her and what that should look like before undertaking the monumental task of becoming a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We’ve sung, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried. Sometimes there was kicking and screaming (Mandarin, anyone?), but always there was love. Oh, and we’ve been living through this minor pandemic thing that caused global upheaval and basically ended life as we knew it, with the resilience and creativity of this community shining through the entire time. I hope that, on the whole, your experience of my time as Benevolent Dictator, I mean, Artistic Director of TWC has been positive, that this community has been as blessed by me as I have been by all of you, and that, while it is difficult and painful to say goodbye, you will wish me well as you let me go to take this next step of my journey.
I wish you all the best as you continue to sing and make music together in community.