Announcing Odyssey Season 17: 2020-2021

I am delighted to share with you Odyssey's Season 17 programs! ...But first, we have three important announcements that make this 2020-2021 season very different:

The effects of COVID-19 have disrupted many plans and expectations. After serious considerations, Odyssey has decided to begin a series of concerts performed at the First Baptist Church of Columbia without audiences - for now. ALL the Series concerts will be livestreamed for you to enjoy live music at home. If the church opens, we will consider opening our concerts up to no more than 70 persons, maintaining social distancing.

Second, the 10th Plowman Chamber Music Competition and Festival has been postponed to Spring 2022 or 2023. Currently many institutions are struggling to accommodating ensemble practice, especially those of winds and brass. Even though we live in a world where technology may accommodate a virtual competition, I did not feel right about imposing pressure in a time that's already stressful for many young musicians.

Third, the final installment of "The Evolution of the African American Spiritual" is postponed to next year, October 2021, in hopes that we can celebrate like we did last Fall.

The good news is that we are very fortunate to still have the support of First Baptist Church in Columbia, taking advantage of the fact that, as chamber music series, our musicians are smaller in numbers on stage. With some imagination and flexibility, we were able to put together some marvelous programs.

For example, October features the Miyamotos and the Akhmadullins on stage in a two piano - eight hand Scott Joplin and Boogie Woogie fun, minimizing the exposure to each other. In January, the Pre-Collegiate Aria/Concerto Competition will identify not one, but THREE winners who can choose a piece from any time period, as the musical accompaniment will be performed on the piano, rather than by a chamber ensemble.

Without ticket revenue, fundraising is the only way we can support Odyssey musicians and staff. I am also painfully aware other businesses and non-profits need your financial help. Odyssey announced in July how much we need; once we reach our goal of $25,000, we will not fundraise until another season begins.

Despite the social distancing, musicians are eager to bring music right to your living room from the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Columbia. With some luck, I sincerely hope that things will improve soon, but if not, we are prepared, ready, and excited!

I hope you will take a moment to save our dates in your calendar. We look forward to 'seeing' you in the Fall.

Please take care!

Ayako Tsuruta
Artistic Director

P.S. Season 17 Brochures will be mailed in about 1 week. If you are interested but not on our mailing list, contact me with your information at .

Odyssey Season 17
Socially distanced seating at the First Baptist Church of Columbia, July 2020