A festival that wasn’t… and some reading materials for your isolation

2nd April 2020

Dear all,

At this moment we should have been taking our seats for the opening concert of the 2020 festival! Toll Gavel United Church would have been a-buzz with chatter and anticipation, and the sound of performers warming up would have been drifting through from the green room. This afternoon we would have had the chance to hear the concluding performance of our primary schools’ project, the children’s voices filling the Minster as they’ve already been filling their own school halls in rehearsals. The wonderful Katy Hamilton would have challenged us to think about how creative process and personal suffering can go hand in hand (oh how ironic at this time!). Our free rush-hour concert would have taken us to the heart of our Celtic theme, and would have been followed by a jovial meal at what is surely the best branch of Carluccio’s in the country (for whom we keep our fingers firmly crossed this week….). A glass would doubtless have been raised in the East Riding Theatre’s bar before our Poulenc concert there, and then we would have made our way back to the Minster, whose late night events have become such a treasured part of New Paths, where the day would have ended with Libby and Maria playing some of Bach’s most profound music. And that would have been just Day One!

Sadly it was not to be, and we – like you – have been mourning what might have been. But one of our artists wrote to us this week,

“I’m so sorry that your wonderful events can’t happen this spring. But spring will come again.”

How right he is! Let us all hold onto that in this strange and difficult time!

We have been absolutely overwhelmed by kind words and generous donations in the past weeks, and are enormously grateful for both, in equal measure. We have been reminded what a community New Paths is: performers, volunteers, audience and partners all come together in such a special way, and we’ve been touched by the kindness shown to us by all of those people.

Whilst nothing is the same as a festival in person, we thought at least we would offer a little reading material to fill the hours of self-isolation! We have uploaded the programme notes for a small representative sample of our concerts, along with links to YouTube performances and Spotify playlists (take your pick or listen to both and compare!). We hope you enjoy discovering some new music this way, and hope it helps alleviate the boredom.

We wish you well at this strange time, and look forward to seeing you again once circumstances have changed.

With all best wishes,

Roland and Libby