Like many of you, I am closely following the lockout of our Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Musicians. It is a debacle, it is disturbing, and it should bother you!
Our orchestra isn’t just music, instruments, repertoire, boards, budgets, and fundraising; it is hope and inspiration, it is passion and craft, it is the example of what is possible for our students and the livelihood that supports the sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, lovers, and patrons of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
As you read, a young family expecting a child may have to relocate to provide for their family’s well being because their job with the orchestra is in jeopardy.
As you contemplate, an artist’s health is being compromised and their ability to afford healthcare and pay their bills is at risk.
You cannot balance the operating costs of an organization without balancing the purpose and meaning of the organization itself.
Our musicians lift us up through their talent and devotion to glorious music. We need a governing body that will lift these beautiful musicians up and sustain their commitment to nurturing our community through performance and outreach.
We who teach rely on the example and effort of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. We bring our students to performances, we recommend our students to Talent Development and the Youth Symphony, we support our peers as they perform, and we attend concerts to inspire and sustain us throughout the school year.
This conversation about profit and loss, of boards and budgets, of meeting targets and hardening resolves is offensive to our spirits.
We are actually experiencing a crisis in leadership and vision. With all due respect to the governing board of the ASO; what vision do you have for our symphony? What incentives and encouragement are you offering for the talent that your leadership should support. Are you doing enough to market, promote, and showcase the orchestra?
The accomplishments and capability of our orchestra is well documented and celebrated all over the world. If the leadership of the ASO cannot celebrate with us, as members of our community, if they cannot make their own sacrifices, honor their commitments, and create lasting support for our symphony they should step aside and make way for leaders whose vision would return our attention to the dedication of the musicians and the music they share.
We are a prosperous city and a generous people; we have the resources to sustain a world class symphony. It is time for the board to remember how capable they are of creating and sustaining a better environment for all to prosper.