To everything there is a season.

As we do every year, we celebrate the continuation of our cherished musical pursuits, but this 2021 season is special for three reasons:

First, we celebrate our collective emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, albeit in sadness for those whom we lost, and the continued vitality of Kneisel’s programs.

Second, we celebrate the arrival of Yoo-Jin Hong, who has effectively taken the reins as Executive Director and has created warm and mutually-supportive partnerships with Laurie Smukler, Ellen Werner and other colleagues at Kneisel. I look forward to Yoo-Jin’s leadership with great enthusiasm!

Finally – and this is important – we celebrate the legacy of care and stewardship which Ellen Werner has given us for many years – first as a community supporter, then as a Board member, and for the past 25 years as Executive Director.

What can I say about Ellen? She is dedicated, fearless, funny, and indefatigable. Her concern for our young artists, alumni, music students young and grown up, and the Blue Hill community is as limitless as it is compassionate. She is the rock on which our programs have been built for these many years. Our students and alumni know this very well. Laurie, our faculty, our staff and our Board of Trustees know this as an article of faith. I dare say you already knew all this too.

Join me in thanking Ellen and celebrating her extraordinary tenure. Ellen will remain a close friend of Kneisel Hall, and I look forward to the day we can be together to raise a glass in her honor.

Let us celebrate the remarkable and resilient Kneisel Hall, and build on this legacy as we go into the future!

Jeff Kehl
President, Board of Trustees

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