Are You Inadvertently Cultivating An Us Against Them Environment?

If you’re ever interested in sparking a conversation among orchestra managers, musicians, or board members, ask them what they think about the us against them mentality. If you do, make sure to order a drink and sit back because it will probably be a long conversation. In a nutshell, us against them usually rears its ugly head during labor disputes but unlike a severe weather event that comes and goes, it’s …

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Gelb’s Puzzling Threshold For “Best Relationships”

The Associated Press published an article on 1/28/2021 by Ronald Blum that examines The Metropolitan Opera’s finances. Nutshell: they saw the same drop in earned income other groups are experiencing but offset that in part by increased unearned income. In and of itself, there’s nothing remarkable there but what should catch your eye is the spin Met general manager Peter Gelb put on that story. “The good news is that we’ve managed …

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Growing Discord In Indianapolis

At the end of June, we examined growing labor tensions at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) over what the musicians described as unnecessarily aggressive negotiations over back pay, benefits, and media agreement terms. Since then, I managed to have a conversation with the ISO’s CEO James Johnson. Media Agreement According to a press statement from the musicians, the employer was pushing for changes to the existing media agreement in order to make good …

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Why The “If You Aren’t Playing, We Aren’t Paying” Rationale Just Doesn’t Work

As coronavirus shutdowns continue, we’re seeing some genuinely positive interaction between employers and musician employees working toward mutually agreeable solutions to the sensitive issue of payroll. Outside of those scenarios, I’m seeing one of the most derogatory old-school stereotypes emerge as justification for cancelling musician pay entirely: musicians only work 20 hours per week. This twisted notion assumes that musicians are only paid for the time they are on stage rehearsing …

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Examining Coronavirus Orchestra News

For the most part, it’s genuinely heartening to see the degree of care and accuracy of news related to Coronavirus related news about the orchestra field. Having said that, there have been a few small exceptions worth examining. One that would benefit from some added clarity was from an article in the 3/23/2020 edition of Vulture.com examining the New York Philharmonic’s labor decision to reduce musician pay over the summer. Beginning …

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The Performing Arts Org Vax Policy Database

Find vaccination requirements by organization and sector along with policy links and a form to add your organization to the database.

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