#TBT Yes, Seattle Is A Union Orchestra

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Among the long list of myths in this field, one of the most enduring is that Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is a non-union orchestra. Spoiler alert: that’s not true. As a matter of fact, the SSO has been a union orchestra since it was formed in 1903 but the myth was born in the 1980s when the SSO musicians voted to leave the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and form an …

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Leading By Example In Seattle

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We’re going to do something out of the ordinary today in that this will be a purely promotional post. Specifically, I want to draw attention to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s (SSO) Music Beyond Borders: Voices from the Seven concert that took place on 2/8/2017. The concert is unique and worth special attention for a few key reasons: It tackles the high profile political issue of the immigrant ban head-on by programming …

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How To Look Like The Smartest Person In The Room When Talking About Colorado

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In the wake of yesterday’s post about the Colorado Symphony musicians and the musicians’ union, a number of readers reached out with questions about the most prominent instance of orchestra musicians leaving the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO). In the spirit of knowledge is power combined with the general lack of familiarity with the SSO musicians’ union (the International Guild of Symphony, Opera, & Ballet Musicians; …

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Broadening The Perspective On Equal Pay For Equal Work

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When we started examining the topic of equal pay for equal work as applied to substitute orchestra musicians, otherwise known as parity, we compared the parity rate at US and Canadian orchestras in an article from 2/26/2014. At that time, just over two thirds of Canadian symphonic orchestras maintained parity, which was twice the rate of US ensembles. Unfortunately, I left out one important variable in that examination, the only professional …

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Hey, Some Good News Without Any Prerequisite Drama

The 9/15/2014 edition of The Seattle Times published an article by Nicole Brodeur that reports the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) not only raised $600,000 at its recent gala but also garnered a $10 million gift from Rebecca Benaroya. Yes, the Minnesota Orchestra recently announced a $10 million gift too but Seattle managed to snag theirs without having to first thrust the organization into chaos. Even though the organization came rather close …

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