From Robert Swift

July 10, 2009.

Dear David,

Your July 1st letter arrived yesterday, and my wife and I appreciate being kept informed of developments. The tone appropriately and necessarily reflects a positive spin.

I am prompted to write a response as I’m sure you realize that there is another point of view of this major philosophical change. From what I understand, it is widespread. It is one of great disappointment.

The Festival as it has existed for decades is being phased out. It has been tried and NOT found wanting. Last summer we were led to believe that the entire 2009 season would be Paul Polivnick’s finale, not just one concert. The discontinuance of the choral program this summer is a significant net loss for the Festival — not only with regards to the opportunity it afforded singers (including many from the Pemi Choral Society), but also of financial support of many of them. The offer to current players to “demonstrate how they meet criteria … highest standards of integrity” is most off putting and insulting.

I wish you well. The new direction can be viewed as a leap of faith or a gamble, depending on one’s point of view. In a short time it will be evident whether your plan is one of wisdom or folly.


Robert Swift
Professor of Music
Plymouth State University