Monthly Archives: April 2011
MDSO address to the Executive Committee of the DSO’s Board of Directors delivered by musician representatives Shelley Heron and Larry Liberson – April 27, 2011.
In our capacity as this year’s musician representatives, we will provide a report at each board meeting in an effort to open up communications between the orchestra and Detroit Symphony board members.
We wish to begin this series of reports by acknowledging that things have been difficult for everyone at the DSO for some time now. During this period, words failed to provide a path to the future and as a result, each of us needed to act according to our convictions. The actions taken were necessary.
The DSO is at a crossroads even though we now have an agreement in place. Questions abound. How do we move forward? What will it take to bring us together? Where are we headed?
Ultimately, all words will fall away and it will be actions that will define if and how the many questions are answered. What will count at the end of the day is not what we say, but what we do and how well we do it. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said.”
What we do and how well we do it has the potential to generate respect and it is respect that will open the door to trust. Respect and trust are what will unite this institution — respect and trust grounded in actions. The fewer the words said, the better.
Our success in moving forward will largely depend on whether we have been effective in getting each other’s attention with the goal being – trust and respect. Again, what we do and how well we do it will dictate the future – our future.
Today, we would ask, “What do you need from the two of US?” What do you need US to do?”
If you are already a member of SOS, please take this poll.
If you would like to become a member, please click HERE and then return to this page to take the poll.
The number for the DSO Box Office is 313-576-5111. They are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.
If you would like to join the SOS Board of Directors for a concert, HERE is a link to the concerts we will be attending as a group. We would love to meet you at Orchestra Hall!
While we celebrate the return of our musicians to Orchestra Hall, let us not forget the tremendous financial sacrifices made by these musicians when they accepted this contract. SOS salutes these fine individuals for their commitment to Michigan and the Arts. Bravo!!
SOS intends to work with all involved parties to ensure that the next contract is commensurate with the skill, talent and level of artistic excellence that is the hallmark of the musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra!
The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony will be on-stage at Orchestra Hall, today, Saturday April 9, 2011, for the first time in six months. We requested to be allowed to welcome the audience from the stage with the following “live” address but have been told this will not be possible. Our message is important, however, and so we are taking this opportunity to speak to each of you, today, through our social media network.
April 9 and 10, 2011
DSO Patrons, Volunteers and Audience Members,
For the past six months the Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have been touring your neighborhoods playing to capacity audiences in some of the best acoustic settings that Metro Detroit has to offer. We have played in your homes — the homes of Kirk in the Hills, St. Hugo’s Catholic Church and Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Anne’s Catholic churches in Grosse Pointe Woods and Warren. We have visited two St Patick’s parishes – one in White Lake and the other, our next door neighbor, here in Detroit. We have shared our music in your childrens’ homes and enjoyed every minute we spent with them in the schools of L’Anse Cruese North in Clinton and Groves High School in Beverley Hills. Our holiday music-making took us to the Boll Family YMCA, Tumaini Center, Mariners Inn in Detroit, as well as Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park. In all, we brought our music to you in nineteen special concerts around the Metro Detroit area.
Thank you for coming to our home, today, and for allowing us to share our gift of music with you from the stage that we love dearly — the wonderful and magnificent Orchestra Hall.
We acknowledge that this season has been difficult for everyone affiliated with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The DSO’s heart is troubled. We needed to address some major issues and we very much appreciated your patience and support while we did that.
The Detroit Symphony is still in intensive care but with your help it will recover. You have a voice. You are the voice of our audience, the voice of DSO patrons, volunteers and our community. We need to listen to your voice because we are nothing without you. We promise we will listen.
Our voice speaks best when we are before you, pouring our hearts out and sharing our love of music with you. Please know that we will use that voice and will be tireless in the pursuit of artistic excellence. We remain committed to the vision of a vibrant city for Detroit and we believe that vision includes a major symphony orchestra.
We make this promise to each and every one of you, today: We will give you nothing but the very best we have to offer. Michigan and the City of Detroit will recover and we will still be here when it does. We are committed and we believe.
The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
We would also like to express a heartfelt thanks from the musicians of the DSO to our thousands of supporters in Detroit and around North America and the world. It has been a long and difficult road. We were gratified to learn that many other people cared deeply about us and our orchestra.
MDSO is appreciative of the time and energy spent in the intervening months by Senator Levin, Governor Granholm, Andy Levin, Dan Gilbert, Matt Cullen, and the Citizens’ Group in attempting to reach a resolution.
Locally, many lovers of orchestral music coalesced into the powerhouse that Save our Symphony has become in the few short months since it formed in November. SOS will become the focal point of a broad new base of support for the DSO going forward.
From Detroit to the four corners of the United States and Canada: our professional colleagues from the world of music created a wave of support which began before we had even announced that we faced difficult negotiations. Individual musicians, AFM locals and the members of dozens of professional orchestras from ICSOM, OCSM and ROPA wrote to us and sent an unprecedented amount of money to our Contingency Fund, well over $250,000. It mattered so much to us to know that our colleagues saw the struggle here as their own.
We learned once again that the wide world of music and musicians is a small one. The solidarity we have felt in 2010 and 2011 will not be forgotten.
- The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/8/11
Contact: Greg Bowens, Bowens & Co., 248.275.3156, firstname.lastname@example.org
DSO MUSICIANS RATIFY NEW CONTRACT TO END STRIKE
Musicians thank the thousands of people who supported them over the last six months
Detroit – The ballots are counted and the musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached last weekend after marathon negotiations. The vote ends one of the longest work stoppages in symphony orchestra history.
“We are relieved that this struggle is over and we can get back on stage performing the world’s greatest music,” said Karl Pituch, chair of the musicians negotiating committee. “But the problems which led to the strike, and those who were responsible for those problems continue,” he added.
American Federation of Musicians Local 5 President Gordon Stump agreed: “We want to thank the thousands of people from all over the city, the nation, and indeed the world who supported us with their letters, emails, and in many cases their money,” said Stump. “For the sake of those people, ourselves, and the thousands of classical musicians working in symphony, opera, and ballet orchestras throughout the country we are happy that the worst of the proposals were eliminated. We paid a heavy price in terms of the loss of income over the last six months and an almost 25% reduction in our salaries, but we were able to fend off management proposals which would have significantly changed the very nature of the job, and would have given the managements of other orchestras the impetus to try and gain those conditions in their orchestras.”
“In the next few years, we must try to rectify the problems which if not resolved will have us back in this mess again,” he added.
The musicians have also agreed to begin concerts this weekend which are free to the public.
For more information check out our website:
Music lovers throughout Detroit and around the world have multiple ways to hear the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this Sunday:
Watch the concert live at 3pm at www.dso.org/live.
Listen live at 3pm on WRCJ 90.9 FM or www.wrcjfm.org.
Listen to an encore performance at 7:30pm on WRCJ 90.9.
Watch the concert at 7:30pm on WTVS Channel 56.
THE DSO RETURNS and WRCJ is broadcasting them LIVE!
Hear a LIVE broadcast of the Detroit Symphony in Orchestra Hall Sunday at 3p only on 90.9 FM. Then, see the concert at 7:30p on WTVS Channel 56 (with a simulcast on 90.9 FM).
Click HERE for a link to WCRJ and information about the live DSO concert broadcast this weekend.
After two marathon bargaining sessions on April 2 and 3, the Negotiating Committee of the musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra reached a tentative settlement on a new contract late Sunday evening. The details of that contract and of our possible return to the stage of Orchestra Hall must of course await a full orchestra discussion and vote in the coming days.
One thing does not have to wait, however—an expression of heartfelt thanks from the members of the DSO to our thousands of supporters in Detroit and around North America and the world. It has been a long and difficult road. In fact, April 4 marks six months since the strike began. From the beginning we faced a strong attack not only on our livelihoods, but on the great institution we are proud to be a part of. But also from the beginning, we were gratified to learn that many other people cared deeply about us and our orchestra. The first mention must go to our audience members, since they are the reason we exist and the reason to preserve a great orchestra in Detroit. From the earliest days last summer they came forward to say that they heard our message and shared our commitment. They filled the hall in 19 special concerts around Metro Detroit. At those events, their warmth and applause, along with the welcome chance to make music together, sustained the musicians of the DSO in a vital way. They wrote letters of support, made generous contributions, fabricated buttons, and brought a wealth of suggestions (and constructive criticism) to keep us moving forward. So many of them coalesced into the powerhouse that Save our Symphony has become in the few short months since it formed in November. We have a strong conviction that SOS will prove to be the focal point of a broad new base of support for the DSO going forward.
A second key group of supporters can be found from Detroit to the four corners of the United States and Canada: our professional colleagues from the world of music. Their wave of support began before we had even announced that we faced difficult negotiations and has never stopped since. Individual musicians, AFM locals and the members of dozens of professional orchestras from ICSOM, OCSM and ROPA wrote to us and sent an unprecedented amount of money to our Contingency Fund, well over $250,000. It mattered so much to us to know that our colleagues saw the struggle here as their own. The money they sent enabled us to cover expenses entailed in producing concerts and spreading the word of our situation. It made it possible to give emergency loans to our own members in need of assistance and to supplement our national strike fund checks during part of the work stoppage. We learned once again that the wide world of music and musicians is a small one. The solidarity we have felt in 2010 and 2011 will not be forgotten.
A third pillar of strength from Day One has been the American Federation of Musicians. President Ray Hair marched with us in Detroit on Labor Day. The national office never flagged in its support. AFM negotiator Chris Durham flew to Detroit to assist in the crucial last sessions. Our own attorney, Leonard Leibowitz, was a tireless and sustaining presence and strategizer over many, many months. The AFM’s commitment became crystal clear right at home in Detroit. Local 5 President Gordon Stump and Secretary-Treasurer Susan Barna-Ayoub signed their lives over to the musicians of the DSO for the duration. In countless ways they enabled the orchestra members to function more smoothly than we had any reason to hope, week by week.
Without a doubt, challenging and interesting times still await us. Most of all we look forward to a future filled with many wonderful days and evenings of music making in Orchestra Hall and beyond. We look forward to performing for you all and to meeting many of you. Please stay tuned.
-The Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchesta