How Tuba Players Are Going To Save Classical Music

Step 3, the final step in the series How To Save Classical Music, will focus on changing the internal attitudes among the stakeholders in an orchestra.  In order for orchestras to become financially and artistically healthy places that facilitate an exciting atmosphere for creating music, there needs to exist an exciting internal culture they can build from.  And as of now, many orchestras don’t enjoy such an environment.  Perhaps I could …

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What On Earth Is Going On At Philadelphia?

On Tuesday, July 13th, a big blue banner link on the home page at the Philadelphia Orchestra entitled “Securing The Future, Negotiations Update” appeared.  This was quite a surprise to see since it’s customary for both sides involved in a contract negotiation to have a press blackout.

According to a representative from the AFM Symphonic Services division, there’s nothing legally preventing the management from posting something like this on the web site.  Technically, they own it so they get to decide what goes up.

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Mixed Messages From Philadelphia

Let’s try an exercise in understanding today; we’re going to walk a mile in another man’s shoes. Imagine:

  • You’re a middle manager at a fictional company we’ll call Widget-Tech. Widget-Tech is a business with under 100 employees and has recently had a couple of bad years.
  • The big bosses at Widget-Tech have put together a long term financial plan designed to save the company and make them profitable again. Part of that plan calls for cutting operational expenses by 10 percent and so step 1 in that process is a reduction in the employee workforce by 10 percent.
  • The positions cut are mostly entry level jobs and a handful of middle managers, but luckily for you your job is still safe (for the moment).
  • Shortly after those staff reductions, the big bosses announce step 2 in the plan: everyone has to take a mandatory unpaid “vacation”.
  • Just when you thought you had things figured out (the big bosses must have some sort of mental handicap) step 3 begins: senior managers and big bosses get 3-4 percent raises.

What message do you think the big bosses are sending everyone? Would you feel motivated? What kind shape do you think company morale is in?

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Unemployed In San Antonio

There has been some good news coming out of the San Antonio Symphony administrative offices lately, such as the announcement last month that they will resume making music on September 17th, 2004 and the securing of a sponsor for some of their children’s concerts. Unfortunately, that’s about all of the good news so far.  Since filing for bankruptcy last May, the orchestra went dark for the 2003-2004 season and stopped paying …

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