Author Archives: ray


We have had MANY requests to donate money to SOS as well as personal support. How to do that:

Please send a check to SOS PO Box 2403 Birmingham Michigan 48012-2403. Donations will be tax deductible in 2011 or retoactive for 2010 once our application for 501(c)(3) status is approved by the IRS.

Pay Pal and credit card are being set up now.

Donate personal or professional services by just letting us know what you can do!
Thank you!

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Vacations in France, Leadership and Values

What a telling contrast!!   Ms. Parsons is off to France on a paid vacation (if verified) while the musicians are staying in town playing at homeless shelters.  The musicians have agreed to the Levin/Granholm 25% salary reduction compromise, while we are still in the dark as to Ms. Parson’s current compensation.  Have she and the management staff reduced their salaries to the degree they are asking the musicians to do so?  How much is Maestro Slatkin’s compensation to be reduced?  This stark contrast in actions and requested sacrifice begs for an explanation.

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Striking DSO Musicians Launch Tour At Homeless Shelters

POSTED: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 UPDATED: 12:01 pm EST December 21, 2010

DETROIT — Musicians on strike with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are launching a concert series for the homeless on Wednesday.
The tour will host concerts at three Detroit shelters and is called “Let the Music Play at Christmas!”“Christmas is a season for giving. And although we have been out of work for several months now, we are giving what we can in the form of music,” said Gordon Stump, President, Local 5 of the American Federation of MusiciansEvery year the musicians of the DSO give $1,000 to COTS and $1,000 to St Patrick’s Church. This year, along with Local 5 the musicians donated $1000 for turkeys for the Metro-Detroit/Teamsters Holiday Food Basket project for out of work families.The following is the schedule of performances Wednesday:

The Tumaini Center, 3430 Third Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, Noon – 12:45 p.m.
The Mariner’s Inn, 445 Ledyard, Detroit, MI 48201, 2:15 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.
The Ruth Ellis Center, 77 Victor Street, Highland Park, MI 48203, 4:45 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.

“Our 2010 holiday venue is not as ornate as Orchestra Hall. The seats are not as plush. Our tickets are not as pricey. But our audience is every bit as worthy,” said Stump. “That makes this our greatest concert tour ever.”

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One Courageous Voice

Cecilia Benner’s address to the General Annual Meeting of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Dec. 9, 2010

Ceclia Benner, December 9, 2010.

My name is Cecilia Benner. I am committed to this orchestra. I have been a subscriber for 48 years and a donor for 24. I also served on the Board and the Executive Board for about 5 years until last January. The past few years I have donated more than half my income to the DSO. I am a person whose soul NEEDS to hear excellent live classical music at least once a week or you don’t want to be around me.

I have donated the proceeds of my 2 season tickets to the annual fund so far this season under the mistaken notion that perhaps it would serve as some seed money to help get the orchestra back on the stage. However, I now realize that money is probably being used to pay the management which is NOT producing the concerts as it is entrusted to do.

I believe that the American Symphony Orchestra League which I assumed was formed to help orchestra managements find innovative ways to lure new audiences is invested in this management’s bringing the symphony musicians to their knees to set a precedent and warning to symphony musicians across the country that they are next.

Next to my own family, these musicians are my family. My late husband was the assistant principal bass. The monies I donate do not come as a widow of a DSO musician! His pension amounts to $700 a month after 24 years service. Thank God we had a small business which I ran. These musicians are hard working, highly trained gifted artists dedicated to bringing the utmost of their god-given talent to move, inspire and delight their audiences. They work extremely hard and are prone to suffer a multitude ofjob related injuries from overuse just as the pro ball players who get paid millions to catch throw and kick also suffer. That they are being treated as though they are day laborers with no exceptional abilities is a travesty.

With the elimination of music in the schools and the general “dumbing down” of our society we are in deep trouble. All the cultural arts are being attacked. The education program run under the DSO banner which introduces hundreds of young people to classical music is an extremely valuable asset to the future of this orchestra and this city.

Detroit must not lose this cultural gem, the DSO. If it is lost or decays into a third-rate pick-up band it will be like a spike, not a nail, in Detroit’s coffrn. This orchestra and its hall are at the heart of the strived-for revitalization of this city.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know the financial situation is dire but the audience must demand a management with a true passion for music, honesty and integrity. Do not accept smoke and mirrors.

Thank you.

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Templates for requesting a refund for unused tickets

It is your right to ask for a refund for any tickets you have for concerts which have been canceled.  We recommend you do this because it increases the financial pressure on the DSO management to resolve the strike and sends a clear message that you do not support their position nor the direction they want to take the orchestra.

Please feel free to use one of the templates (Microsoft Word format) provided below –

DSO Refund Letter Template 1

DSO Refund Letter Template 2

DSO Refund Letter Template 3

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