It is with sadness that we write to inform you that an in-person SEAMUS 2020 has been cancelled due to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19. We made this decision in response to a communication sent last night from UVA’s president strongly advising against all non-essential domestic travel, and indicating the possibility of further restrictions to be announced mid-week. Many registrants and performers had withdrawn already. Our primary concerns are about the safety and well-being of our UVA and SEAMUS communities. In addition, we want to prevent attendees from becoming stranded while traveling, for an event whose status would be tenuous throughout. This decision was not made lightly, and it follows rigorous discussion with UVA administration as well as SEAMUS board members.
We hope this communication reaches you in time to recoup some or all of your travel expenses. For those who registered at the conference hotel, we have cancelled your reservation and you will not be charged. (If you wish to maintain your reservation, please email us.) Regarding registration fees, we have spent most of registration revenue, University support, advertising, and sponsorship on production expenses such as design and printing of the conference booklet and swag, equipment rental and shipping (e.g., the Genelecs), and honoraria for performers rehearsing the pieces. We will ship these physical artifacts to you as applicable, and are as well working to produce an online platform that presents the conference in a way that serves you, the larger SEAMUS community, and beyond.
At this time, we are focused on assembling this online presentation of the conference. UVA coordinators will be in touch soon. We would like to thank the entire UVA team for the countless hours they have spent in producing an exceptional conference. We are hoping to create an exceptional substitute given the situation. If you have any suggestions on what this might include, please feel free to contact us.
Wishing you good health!
Ted Coffey & Leah Reid, SEAMUS 2020 cohosts