Remember Shreveport?

It has been nearly one year since we last checked in on the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and their work stoppage but good news is the reward for patience as both sides announced an agreement on 7/19/2010. The new two year agreement produces a 2010/11 season that tentatively begins in November. Terms include retaining the salaried core albeit at a 45 percent reduction from the previous contract…

At the same time, that’s a compromise over the initial proposal of a 75 percent cut and moving to a per service structure. Statements from the orchestra representatives and musicians did not include any additional details but we’ll see about reviewing them once the contract is released.

In the meantime, several local media outlets have covered the announcement and you can read material from musicians and management at their respective websites:

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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2 thoughts on “Remember Shreveport?”

  1. Yes, Drew, the drought is over and now we begin again by sharing our musical gift and providing our community with the sights and sounds of the orchestra it deserves. Dedication and patience from all organizations involved in the negotiations the Board of the SSO, the Musicians of the orchestra and Local 116, AFM) played a large part in determining the direction and focus of the SSO for the next two years.

    As the Former Personnel Manager of the SSO for 32 years and the Full Time Contract Second Horn having played in the organization both as a teen-ager during my high school and college years and as a senior citizen in most recent years, it is my hope that all parties can continue the honest and critical dialogue necessary to maintain the jewel of the Ark-LA-Tx.

    I am not the offical spokesperson for our local musicians whether from SSO or the many community orchestras in which many of us play, but my views, opinions and my photos of local orchestral and ensemble events can be seen on my blog listed below. Thanks again for your coverage.

    Susan W Rogers

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