Jacksonville Musicians Respond To Board Member Email

Jacksonville Symphony Players’ Association (JSPA) issued a press release late 12/26 demanding Tom Beames, Jacksonville Symphony Association (JSA) Executive Board member and Vice Chair of Artistic Affair, to leave the JSA executive board…


Symphony Musicians Contemplate Community Boycott of Wachovia Bank if Bank Official Fails to Leave Jacksonville Symphony Association Board    

musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra are demanding that
Thomas Beames, Jr. leave the Symphony Board in the aftermath of a
controversy stemming from a public posting of an email that he copied
to Mayor John Peyton. Mayor Peyton is an honorary member of the
Symphony Board, and all emails sent to him are automatically posted for
public viewing. Unless Mr. Beames steps down from the Board, the
musicians are seriously considering the idea of asking Jacksonville
residents who are considering or currently doing business with Wachovia
to take their business elsewhere. Mr. Beames, Jr. is the Regional
Managing Director of Trust and Investment Sales and Service, Wachovia

In an email addressing the Board’s ongoing lockout
(entering day 45) of the symphony musicians, Mr. Beames, Jr. stated, "I
think we may start to see some crack in the dyke on this ‘only $x’
issue, and the heartstrings of kids at Christmas with no presents
certainly will have an impact."

He was also critical
about what he had thought been a claim by the musicians that they were
" ‘only’ $60 M a year away from agreement " with the Symphony
Association. The figure that the musicians had actually cited in a
recent letter to Board members was a difference of $60,000 (60K) per

To view the email, go to https://webmail.coj.net/public/
then enter "publicdocs" for username and "public" for password. Click
on the "+" sign next to the "Public "Records" folder, click on"Mayor
John Peyton’s Public Records", then scroll through to the emails number
101-125 using the arrows at the top right of the screen. Mr. Beames,
Jr’s email is titled, "re: Pre-Christmas update from Jim VV"

As of , 2:48 PM CT there has been no official response from the JSA to the musician’s statement.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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1 thought on “Jacksonville Musicians Respond To Board Member Email”

  1. Don’t say it unless your willing to back it up. In this case the musicians should put a date on the removal of Mr.Thomas Beames Jr. after which the boycott of Wachovia begins should he remain on the board. As for the rest of the board, if there is a way to have a symphony without it I believe they all should be terminated. The musicians are adults and should not have to be under the thumb of anybody.

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