It Looks Like Nashville Came To Its Senses

Statements from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO) board and musicians indicate that both sides have reached a tentative agreement pending musician ratification. Since the musicians are still officially off for the summer, it is likely that they may wait until next week before conducting a ratification vote and if they have provisions for remote voting, that may add a few additional days to the process. But reports from individuals close to the details indicate the agreement is one that the musicians’ negotiating committee will recommend and historically, it is rare for the rank and file to not ratify under those conditions.

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-020Both sides are remaining very quiet about any details surrounding the pending agreement but if it is good enough to quell hostility between musicians and their employer that began to surface earlier in the month, Nashville may yet become a prime example for how to avoid a crippling labor dispute alongside predatory debt collection to serve as a point of reference for how other orchestras can avoid unnecessary fates such as those in Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Paul, and the ongoing Minnesota Orchestra tragedy.

You can find additional details in an article by john Pitcher in the 8/16 edition of the Nashville Scene as well as an article by Walter F. Roche Jr. in the 8/17 edition of The Tennessean.

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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