Hello to the Apple Hill extended community,
The fall always reminds me of a sense of renewal—a time when change is very visible in nature. Perhaps the most significant change is visible in the leaves changing colors and the trees losing these leaves. Living in the Evergreen State (Washington), I enjoy the foliage and the vibrant colors on display. But what captured my interest this year is how the evergreens go through this process of change. Their new green growth takes over well before the older needles change color and fall out. The result is an evergreen tree brushed with shades of brown, orange, or gold, but one that will never have bare branches.
I thought of this image as I was writing this letter, because it reminded me of how similar Apple Hill is to an evergreen tree. Apple Hill just celebrated its 50th anniversary and over the span of the last 50 years, change and growth has been a constant. As we momentarily pause to celebrate those past 50 years, Apple Hill has already started to push out its next phase—there are new buildings on campus, new tools and technology to reach a global audience, and a leadership transition to a new director and new opportunities, all rooted in a deep understanding of a living mission. The experience that Apple Hill creates for musicians of all backgrounds, ages and levels to come together is transformative to each participant. It was transformative for me, my students, and many of my friends since 2003 when I first attended Apple Hill. So even though new projects and initiatives are already underway, the urgency of a mission that is centered on inclusion, community connection, and acceptance is not one to ignore in our current times.
Looking back to move forward into the next 50 years, we acknowledge that Apple Hill grew because of the generosity and giving of the extended community. Your gifts provided opportunities for transformative experiences, scholarships, renowned faculty, outstanding concerts, and community events. Your gifts are creating a world that is a little more inclusive and a little more accepting because every gift will continue to cultivate 100 acres of music, sustain the next 50 years of chamber music making, and ultimately support a living mission to center acceptance, creative expression, and encouragement in our communities.
To that end, I invite you to continue to be a part of this community of support, so that Apple Hill can continue to be innovative and creative while preserving its mission in the face of a constantly changing era.
Thank you for your gift,
Reem Abu Rahmeh
Board member, Alumna