There Are Firsts And Then There Are Firsts

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News is aflutter now about the Minnesota Orchestra heading to Cuba to be the first US orchestra to perform there since President Obama took steps to normalize relations between the countries in December 2014. That last part is emphasized because the more this news makes the rounds, the more that point gets glossed over; so much so that in some cases it is even getting left out (although most of those …

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Place Your Bets

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At the rate music directors at big budget orchestras are leaving, we might as well begin a betting pool. First Alan Gilbert in New York and now Christoph Eschenbach is leaving his position at the National Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 216/17 season. The official Kennedy Center press release has the relevant details although you can be sure that the speculation circuit is certain to be kicking into gear sooner …

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Punctuate Your Grammar In Style

In an age of twitter lingo, texting, and autospell it can become all too easy to let your grammar and punctuation chops get rusty; fortunately, there are a few useful guides you can keep on hand to help your written communication remain sharp. I published a post at ArtsHacker on 2/16/2015 that examines both options; one of which is dedicated to punctuation while the other includes an illustrated series of grammar …

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Time To Rebuild The Negotiation Process Timeline

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One of the footnotes in yesterday’s article pointed to a reference post from 2004 that chronicled the historic timeline of orchestra musician self-representation. It provides a decade by decade overview beginning with the 1950s through the most recent decade at the time the article was written, the 2000s. Nonetheless, thanks to the not-so-subtle prodding from a long time reader who sent a cryptic text saying “What, are we stuck in The Matrix …

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Equal Work For Equal Pay: An Orchestra Musician Third Rail Topic

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One of the most common tasks in my consulting work with boards and administrators is adjusting preconceived notions about the musicians union. One of the reasons misconceptions are so common is the musicians’ unique level of self-determination and direct representation is in stark contrast to most other labor unions. A Fascinating History Beginning in the 1960s, orchestra musicians sought to displace the existing method for crafting collective bargaining agreements (CBA) by …

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