Monday, September 8, 2014

My thoughts ... from Pam Drummond

Dear Friends,

The first thing I did yesterday morning was to check the ASOPA website to see what, if anything had happened at the end of last night. What a disappointment!

Since then I've been wondering:

How is it possible that the 'leadership' of an orchestra, or any arts organization for that matter, not love its musicians and the quality of their work? Wouldn't you be embarrassed by not supporting your organization, not living up to the commitments made in your contract? Wouldn't you be working 10 - 12 hours a day trying to garner financial support, from the corporate world, city government, county government, etc., to keep the Music Ongoing? Would any of us be able to sleep at night?

I also wonder about the apparent lack of concern that too many concerts have such poor attendance. If you were in charge wouldn't you demand that your marketing folks do something to fill the seats? Wouldn't it occur to you that, perhaps, you yourself might do something about it? Giving tickets to students, especially music students (maybe the Youth Orchestra might even like to have them!) and filling the hall would boost the energy of the performers & the audience, as well. Perhaps might consider selling Rush Tickets all week long when it appears that a concert will not be well attended. After all, these are critical times.

And, then there's the issue of ongoing support. As a regular contributor to the ASO, it is amazing to me that, sometime in November, I never get a 'time to re-up' letter. Even sending an email is preferable than never asking! Why doesn't the 'leadership' understand that this is really a no-brainer?

This entire situation is unbelievable to me. Our beloved orchestra is on the brink of going down the tubes and, it seems, NOBODY in a leadership position CARES! Is it really true that the only ones who believe this institution is worthy of continuing to thrive are the musicians themselves? By this, I mean the members of the orchestra, our remarkable conductors, and we, the chorus.

It appears to me that, with the exception of the Artistic Director and his folks, the entire 'leadership' team should be dismissed. How much worse could it really be? Based on their job performances, do any of them deserve to continue receiving their inflated, and apparently immune to reduction, salaries? And, why is it that the 'front office' today is virtually the same size as the orchestra itself?

Some of these issues I have thought about for a long time. The others have just come to the surface this morning. Thanks for asking about them.

Pam Drummond

ASOC Member since 1992

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