The quote, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” originated from the Civil War, when in the face of obvious adversity, Admiral David Farragut (1801-1870) entered Mobile Bay, Alabama. He had been warned that the area contained deadly torpedoes, but he refused to slow down and ordered his fleet forward. This season has been a little like that — in spite of many obstacles and hurdles, our music program at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu is forging ahead — no matter what!
Full speed ahead in fact refers specifically to the upcoming Bach Mass in B minor performances, scheduled for May 13 and 14. After our Monteverdi Vespers performances left a deficit of $13,000 we weren’t sure that it would even be possible to consider putting on the Bach B Minor. In fact, in a blog post I wrote that Carl said we would have to erase the deficit before moving ahead. As of today, the $13,000 deficit has shrunk to about $2,500 — thanks to the generosity of many people. We still have a little ways to go — but this is definitely hopeful.
The fact remains that putting on these musical productions costs a lot of money — money for musical scores, artists fees, transportation for mainland artists, publicity costs such as color postcards, postage to mail them out, printing of the programs, concert refreshments, etc. We also rely heavily on volunteers — singers in the choir, people to help with bulk mailing, refreshments, ticket table, parking attendants, ushers, etc.
All arts organizations run on the premise that ticket sales only cover a portion of the expenses, with the remainder coming from grants and donations. People who came to our performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the year 2000 probably weren’t aware that the tickets only covered 23% of the total expenses. The cost of those two performances was in excess of $64,000!
Years ago, there was an article in the national magazine, The Lutheran, which told our story, titled “Big Dreams: Small church pulls out the stops for Bach.” These concerts are done completely outside of the church budget. We rely solely on your contributions to make up the deficit. If you haven’t already bought your tickets, you can do so online by clicking here. And if you are able, please consider adding a donation to the music program. We’ll need to raise about $30,000 over and above ticket sales, presuming that we will sell-out 300 tickets at each performance. This is certainly do-able, if you break it down into 30 gifts of $1,000 or 60 gifts of $500 each.
Only then can you help our big dreams become a reality.