I want to give you all an update on Young Texas Artists (YTA), along with my thanks. I am sorry I cannot respond to everyone individually, because so many of you have been such an important part of the last few days. It’s been a wild ride.
First, I must give my heartfelt thanks to our wonderful committee chairs, volunteers, donors, sponsors, competitors, vendors, judges, staff, board members, host homes, family and friends. Thank you all for your support, hard work, patience, loyalty, understanding and encouragement as we chalk up another successful YTA event to our record books. I say “successful” because though we faced cancellations and a challenge like never before, I think we lived up to our mission “to encourage excellence in young Texas musicians and inspire their audiences, enriching the cultural life of our state.”
As we prepared a wonderful new experience for our gala, Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue, the news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) became more profound. The City of Conroe directed us and all City permitted events to cancel. This included the Grand Pavilion Barbecue and After-Party as well as many other aspects of the Rising Stars & Legends of Texas week, and mandated a limited attendance at our Finalist’s Concert & Awards to 250 at the Crighton Theatre. We wanted to continue with the final competition round, if even for a limited audience. However, Saturday morning, it became clear that for the safety of all in attendance, even that would not be the thing to do. Sadly, I made the decision to cancel all YTA activities for Saturday night.
How grateful the competitors and judges were that we were able to conclude the highly anticipated 2020 Young Texas Artists Music Competition, the heart and soul of YTA, by completing all four divisions by mid-day Saturday! Our judges chose Gold and Silver medalists in each category, and all competitors will be getting their judged critiques. We did not award a Grand Prize or an Audience Choice.
We hope to present a performance evening in the not-too-distant future, when gatherings are safer, that will be complimentary to all who donated. We will be sending replacement letters indicating that 2020 donations will now be fully tax deductible. Refunds will be issued to those who request them. We will keep in touch via our newsletter, YTA Classical Connection, social media and our website.
Our gala theme was, in part, to celebrate the 250th birthday of the great Ludwig van Beethoven. In this time of uncertainty and extreme challenge, may I suggest listening to a good recording of his Fifth Symphony for inspiration. Everyone please stay safe and take good care.
With sincere gratitude for you all,
Susie Moore Pokorski, President/CEO
Young Texas Artists, Inc.
1608 Pine Oak Drive
Conroe, TX 77304