Cascadia Composers is very sorry to announce the cancellation of the NACUSA 2020 National Conference scheduled for March 19 through 21.
Just three days ago, we felt there was a path forward, with reasonable accommodations and precautions. But of course events surrounding COVID-19 continue to develop rapidly. Air travel is a special concern — we’ve started to have cancellations by out of town participants as well as locals, and one of our headlining performers would likely need to cancel as well. With our wonderful host, Lewis & Clark College, transitioning to all online classes by the day before the conference was to begin, at minimum the environment would not be very conducive to the relaxed and concentrated enjoyment of new music and musicians regardless of its actual safety, which we still believe in.
This has been a tough decision. We know countless hours have been spent rehearsing, airline and hotel reservations have been made, and many other arrangements and preparations also.
Several canceling participants have generously donated their registration fees. Under the circumstances, of course, all registered attendees will be issued a full refund, as well as those purchasing advance tickets for the concerts.
We are grateful for the kind words and support we’ve received from so many of you. Also, we are so grateful for the work of our conference committee, supporting volunteers, and our many, many performers. We’re aware how many hours of your lives (and ours) have been given over to this enterprise, and we’re deeply sorry for having to make this difficult decision. Rest assured, we will seriously consider if and when we might be able to reschedule the conference, with its existing content as much as possible, for sometime later in 2020. At the moment, it’s too early for us to assess; for now, we need to pause and refocus.
These are difficult times. We urge you to stay healthy, do whatever you can to help one another, and listen to the better angels of our nature.
Ted Clifford, president, Cascadia chapter of NACUSA
Michael Johanson, NACUSA 2020 National Conference committee chair / Chair, Lewis & Clark College Department of Music
Jeff Winslow, Cascadia chapter secretary / treasurer