Recovering, Rebuilding and Reconnecting services that are essential for the heart, physically, mentally and emotionally, requires an amazing balance of zealous and sometimes very loud and admonishing sentiments.
Many of our members, performers and volunteers are seeking clarification regarding Dunedin Music Society activities right now, and we would like to share our current position with you and our fans in the public space.
According to the New York Times data that Google presents on its website, the peak of COVID-19’s Delta variant in Florida occurred on August 16 with 29,711 active cases, and as of the time of writing, the number of active cases is 19,908 which shows a drop of 33% in the past two weeks. If data from other countries’ experiences with Delta can be relied upon, its rapid decline of spread has begun… but we still remain cautious, caring and optimistic, in case it hasn’t.
In fact, the CDC reports that so far in 2021, there have been slightly fewer deaths in Florida from COVID-19 (21,490 = 0.009% of FL’s population) than from pneumonia (22,410 = 0.011%). Neither are in the CDC’s top 10 causes of death in Florida so far  – heart-related deaths remain the highest concern at 0.021% of our population. These numbers include non-residents in Florida at the time of passing.
As a response, the DMS and all its groups, including the Dunedin Concert Band, have requested that everyone take the action they believe is essential for their safety and the safety of their loved ones, which may include masks, vaccines, or even staying away from in-person activity.
We have been made aware of neighbors medically advised not to take the COVID-19 or other vaccines (long before COVID became a thing) due to existing medical conditions that are likely to put them at higher risk of dangerous reactions. DMS General Director Stephen P Brown stated “Because the DMS remains apolitical, areligious and nonjudgmental, we have asked everyone to make their own decisions re: masks, vaccines and participation to demonstrate compassion for others and/or for self-preservation, and as we are a fully inclusive organization, we do not discriminate against or exclude those that do or those that don’t.”
“We need to show as much compassion for those with higher health risks beyond COVID-19 as we do for those for which COVID-19 is the highest health risk. Blanket assumptions about each individual without context are not helpful, and do not demonstrate the compassion we all possess.” Brown said.
The DMS Executive Committee recently decided that:
- Our regular programs (Dunedin Concert Band, Florida Symphonic Winds, Pinellas Festival of Community Bands, and Rhythm Kings Jazz Orchestra) will continue with their current schedules. The Pinellas Community Players will also resume rehearsals and performances as soon as a new Conductor has been appointed.
- Our brand new programs originally scheduled to launch this month (Novice Adult Band, Novice Adult Strings, Homeschool Band, Homeschool Strings, and Music Teacher Trainings) will not launch and are postponed for the foreseeable future. Our Music Theory Certification Workshops and Repertoire Workshops due to launch later this year will likely proceed.
Whether you mask and vaccinate to show compassion for others and/or for self-preservation, or do not mask and vaccinate due to existing health risks and/or other reasons, we invite you to consider participating in live music activities and taking the measures you believe are necessary for you and your loved ones in your household.
Zubin Mehta, former Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, declared “Music is the message of peace, and music only brings peace.”
Cellist Pablo Casals stated “Music – that wonderful language – should be a source of communication among men.”
Moliere, a playwright of the 17th century, advised “All the disorders, all the wars which we see in the world, only occur because of the neglect to learn music.”
We remain in service to connecting our communities with live music – essential for the heart.