There are so many exciting things I can’t tell you yet about summer 2014…  But even though I can’t spill the beans until March 11, there are other stories to share while we wait.

Today, a shout out to someone who had a bigger impact on Wolf Trap than anyone I know. A few weeks ago, we celebrated the retirement of my boss Ann McKee, our Senior VP for Performing Arts & Education. Ann started her Wolf Trap career with the Opera Company in 1975, and she proceeded to crank out 39 years of unparalleled dedication, unflagging support, hard core enthusiasm, and tireless effort. (Her effect on my detail orientation surfaces even now as I debate the use of an Oxford comma in that previous sentence.) She believed in me when I was a musician making a mid-career transition to administration, and she climbed a whole bunch of mountains that solidified Wolf Trap’s reputation and made it the healthy robust organization it is.

So I want to point you here, even though this smacks a bit of self-promotion (a necessity in our business, of course, but something I generally steer clear of on the blog.) To honor Ann’s service to Wolf Trap, the Foundation has created an endowment fund in her name. And the Opera Company is extremely honored by her decision to target those funds in our direction in order to support future generations of young artists. Donations to the fund carry a beautiful 50% match, and gestures of all sizes are more than welcome. A fabulous way to thank a fabulous lady.

Looking ahead: I promise to tear myself away from the riveting work of generating artist contracts to share some of my thoughts as I prepare for Winterreise with Ryan McKinny. I know, I know… enough with winter already. But if you’re in the DC area on March 7, you really should come to The Barns. All of this snow and cold has made prep for this concert almost an organic, inevitable process. Many things are learned in the winters of our souls and our lives, and Schubert sheds beautiful light on them.

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