A Message From Outgoing President Sandra Strautman

I cannot thank the Board of Directors enough for their hard work in handling all of the challenges that we faced throughout this year.  This was and is a year that will go down in history. At the end of June, I will hand over the reins of President to President-Elect, Jay Reynolds. Jay has already begun organizing and planning for the 2020-21year. We will have some new and enthusiastic members joining the Board along with some of the current Board Members continuing their term. I will continue on in the role as one of our Vice Presidents and of course a member of the guitar orchestra.

As I look back, I’m reminded of how active SGS was. In July and August, we ramped up Educational programs like Strum for Fun and Parks and Rec. classes. Together, in Oct. we hosted the Mimi Fox and Mary Flower concert at the Harris Center and even made a visit to a local High School. We quickly geared up for our Annual Holiday Concert with our own guitar orchestra and four wonderful guest artists; Lou Valentine Johnson, Matthew Foley and Doug Pauly.
In February we hosted the George England concert at the Brazilian Center which wouldn’t have been possible without our VP Daniel Radu.
Sadly, March brought a new reality to us all with the COVID-19 Pandemic. We all frantically scrambled to cancel shows like Muriel Anderson, Young Artists Showcase, Spring Concert, Educational programs like Strum for Fun, Parks and Recreation classes and all guitar orchestras. We were faced with how to literally keep the music alive during a pandemic.
I can say that we are doing exactly that with Jay Reynolds as our Technology Coordinator and Lisa Pitre as our Marketing Director we have enhanced our website. We have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Twitter. Lisa started a series on Instagram called “Monday Musician” featuring some of our very own guitar orchestra members. I must give a shout-out to our Orchestra conductors Sean O’Conner and Michael Silva who were also instrumental with their creativity and perseverance. Sean (Sean’s Bunker) for his 60 days of playing on YouTube and Michael’s virtual guitar ensemble. We now are setting our sites on more virtual events. Like the rest of the country we will move ahead with caution and focus on what we can do now.

It is with this Board, and their contributions to this society, that makes it what it is today. I’ve been so fortunate to work with James Banach, our Treasurer & Secretary. He keeps us perfectly organized and transparent as a nonprofit organization. I absolutely could not have done this without him.
We have the programs we do because of Lili Williams, our grant writer extraordinaire. Also, an SGS past President who was forever willing to teach, help and lead the way.
I also want to express my appreciation to Board members Robert Ferguson and John Reynolds who were always willing to give candid feedback when I needed it most.
I want to give a special heart felt “thank you” to our retiring event coordinator Stephanie Beckman. I love working with you. We will be hard pressed to find a more professional, knowledgeable and lovely individual to work with.
It has been an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure working alongside these hardworking, dedicated, and talented members of the Sacramento Guitar Society.

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