2020 Holiday Message

Happy Holidays from the Orchestra of Flight Board and Matthew!

It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2020! We’re looking forward to being able to play together and to resuming our programming (although probably in a slightly different format) at some point in 2021. In the meantime, we’d like to stay in touch as much as possible. We plan to have a Zoom social get-together in January. Here is a survey where you can indicate which dates and times would be most convenient for you. https://forms.gle/4oiFBugMRdp3s2tZ9

Orchestra news:

Although we were not able to put on a live or virtual performance this year, we can be proud of other achievements.

First, we found a new rehearsal space. The Seattle Presbytery informed us in late July that our lease would be terminated at the end of August. Both the band and our group started hunting for a new space immediately. Thanks to the efforts of a few of our members, we were able to find a new home at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Burien, and we moved both groups’ belongings in late August. The new space has some nice features, including a larger storage room, several potential practice spaces (which will allow sectionals), and easy access from state route 509. The pastor at the church is quite interested in our mission, and he looks forward to some sort of collaborative efforts in the future.

Second, we organized 8 small ensembles, and each group prepared pieces to record and distribute electronically to the retirement homes we would normally visit. We applied for and were awarded a $3500 grant from 4Culture to purchase equipment and other items that allow us to “reopen”—in our case, to prepare and record music for retirement community members to watch online.  We purchased recording equipment and appropriate PPE with the funds and were less than a week from starting to record when new restrictions on gatherings went into effect in mid-November.  As a result, we have had to postpone the recording sessions until it is safe to get together again. If Covid cooperates, we’ll record in the next few months, and we will organize another round of ensembles in the spring.

Third, we will still be able to claim our 4Culture Sustained Support award despite not having any performances in 2020, and our award should be automatically renewed for 2021 without any competitive process or onsite visits. Nevertheless, our expenses exceed the amount of these awards. We still have to pay rent to the church and pay for insurance and other miscellaneous expenses. We very much appreciate the donations we have received to date. If you are able to donate to the orchestra, you can do so here:


and click on direct contributions or click on the “donate” button at the bottom of the page. You can also send a check made out to Orchestra of Flight to

Orchestra of Flight

c/o Mariane Hermanson

15032 SE 171st St, Renton, WA 98058

A message from Matthew:

Hello from the Kruse household!

This time of year is full of fond memories of joy filled concerts celebrating the season.  I still remember directing my first set of Orchestra of Flight holiday concerts when the music was all new to me.  I remember the joy of filling the Museum of Flight with music as young ones listened and smiled.  I remember conducting one of the concerts in Puyallup running a fever with no food in me. Because I was still so new to the position, I did not have anyone I could call to substitute.  I remember holiday parties at Avis’s home.  Most of all I enjoy the memories of making music with all of you! This year is far from normal, but I work every day to find the small joys in memories, through listening to music, and connecting with the joy of the season in any way I can. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah from Matthew, Kaytee, and Emma!

A message from Nikki:

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this unique holiday season! I wish we were able to make music together this year and I very much miss our weekly gatherings. I’m thankful for all the enthusiasm and support from the orchestra to adapt and embrace all of the changes this year, from the move to our new location to forming small groups and ensembles, working with nursing homes and venues to coordinate virtual performances, and to everyone who has continued to support the organization through donations!

I promise we will get back into our usual rhythm and gatherings as soon as we are able! Until then, I want to help us stay connected and foster a sense of community and musical camaraderie. We will continue to have Zoom social events and gatherings to check in with each other, talk about music, and have some fun! Please reach out if you have any requests or ideas for virtual events. 

In addition, please let us know if you’d like to get connected with a small group or other players! It’s never too late to form a group, and we will resume with the recording and virtual performances as soon as possible!

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and participation in the Orchestra of Flight. I look forward to seeing everyone in 2021!

 Wishing you a peaceful and healthy holiday season,

The Orchestra of Flight Board of Directors

Nikki Sanford, Brenda Sullivan, Carrie Bagatell, Mariane Hermanson, Dave Hamilton, Bonnie Colpitts, Melody Camp, Peggy Willingham