Dear friends of Kerrytown Concert House,

When I began my role here as Artistic and Executive Director back in August 2019, my good friend and Wine, Women and Song cohort, Kathy Waugh, gave me a desk ornament with a quote that said “When nothing goes right…go left.” I loved the gift and I’ve turned to that phrase many times since when I needed a reminder to stay dogged and tenacious – no more so than after the pandemic turned our worlds upside down. “Going left” is now the order of the day, and I’m so very happy to report:

KCH is still here and going strong!!

Since March 13th, 2020, as businesses all over the world have been required to close their doors, we have learned that when one door closes, another virtual door can open. The ongoing pandemic has prevented us from enjoying the thrill of the House bustling with patrons, but it has not stopped us from bringing joyful music from Ann Arbor’s listening room to your living room.


Within a week of the governor’s first executive stay-at-home order, we kicked-off our new streaming series, Live @ The 415, with house-favorite swing band, Accidentally Hip. After which, with the amazing commitment of our Board of Directors and with experiments and investments in new audio/visual equipment to improve the experience, we have filled nearly every Sunday afternoon with music! Our livestream artist bookings continue in 2021, filling the airwaves with live music from THE House to yours. We’ve continued our Sunday virtual concerts at 4:15 PM, but we’ve also added new specialty streaming series: Louis Lessons (featuring pianist and raconteur, Louis Nagel); Jazz Chats with Cool Cats (featuring Pete Siers and jazz guests); Laughter at the Happy Hour (honoring the cabaret tradition of Bolcom & Morris – and sometimes, featuring them); and The Steinway Sessions – concerts that showcase remarkable pianists on our legendary Steinway. For even more icing on the programming cake, keep an eye out for the occasional Saturday Night’s a-Live @ The 415 and other added special events. We are excited that our new Youtube channel enables you to easily put our livestreamed concerts on your home entertainment systems – if you can’t be here physically, we really want you to at least feel like you are.

We long for the buzz that fills the House before an artist takes the stage at KCH, but the safety and health of our patrons, artists and staff will always take priority. To that end, we have adapted our nearly brand-new HVAC system with a fresh air exchange unit and two very sophisticated air filtering devices that kill viruses in the air. This makes us feel better about the activities that are currently taking place at the House, and about inviting audiences to consider attending concerts again in-person once we open our doors on the other side of this crisis. Despite these strange and challenging times, we remain steadfast in our mission of bringing artists and audiences together in unique and meaningful ways. Indeed, it gives us great honor and fulfillment to support artists and other nonprofit organizations during these crippling economic times by giving them a platform when they might not otherwise have one. We have been honored to enter partnerships with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, providing a place for them to film their Fall 2020 virtual chamber music series – A²SO House Concerts at Kerrytown Concert House, and with the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, working together with them to create future programming that will celebrate the rich African American heritage of the Kerrytown district.

As we navigate the twists and turns of current events, KCH remains committed to engaging artists and giving back to the community by keeping the performing arts accessible to all. Especially in dark times, history has shown that it is the Arts that give us inspiration and joy – it is the Arts that help people retain their sense of humanity and identity. With the onset of colder weather, as feelings of worry, boredom and disconnection will surely rise, we understand the need to continue bringing bright moments of joyful and beautiful music to our community. We know that KCH’s Live @ The 415 presentations address this need, yet it is difficult for us to plan ahead without being certain of funding. If you are among the patrons who have helped, we thank you and ask that you continue making donations in lieu of ticket purchases as you enjoy our ongoing virtual presentations. Better yet, if you are able, consider becoming a sponsor! But if you are new to the Live @ The 415 series, or haven’t yet contributed, we respectfully ask that you tune in and add your support to our efforts by making your donation today! By “turning left” when things don’t go right, KCH will get to the other side of current events stronger than ever! But your help is an essential part of this artistic collaboration, and together, the possibilities are endless!

With gratitude, fortitude, and hope,

Monica Swartout-Bebow