Confusion reigns

After reading many, many posts about the situation and speaking with someone who has been in the orchestra for various works (substituting and as an extra when the size of a piece required it) I believe it comes down to questions for me. Not answers and not declarations as I am not part of the situation myself.

I have been part of other organizations where the board suddenly decided to alter the course of the artistic pursuit in various ways. Some were artistic in nature others were financial yet imperiled the organization. All were disastrous and permanently changed the organizations.

I love the Orchestra. It’s a FINE body of wonderfully committed musicians and they have helped to shape my life in Minneapolis since I came here in 1982. Many friends have performed with the orchestra as dancers for various projects. It was always a wonderful feather in the cap, as well as boost to a choreographic career, to be invited by the Orchestra to contribute to the opera presentations or other works where dance was encouraged.

These are my questions and I hope they are not insulting to anyone or ignorant. I have not been able to read as much as others, I am not a musician myself – though I trained for many years quite seriously, and I have GREAT love and respect for what music can do. It is an ESSENTIAL part of our life, not a lucky dividend for some.

  • Is it clear that the board is supposed to be there to support the artistic venture? Why would they think differently?
  • If they do not recognize this, has anyone really asked up front WHAT they think they are supposed to ultimately be doing, regardless of the petty details?
  • Is it really discussed that the board does not need to meet with the musicians, but be part of the advisory panel made up of board and musicians to work out the agreement? This was suggested by my musician friend. Have they refused this part of the process? What would encourage change at this point?
  • Could the Orchestra start over at this point with a smaller group of musicians (probably unavoidable at this point ) to build to something new?
  • Should there be a new Music Director in order to start from a different place and rebuild at this point?

Thank you all. I am very interested in reading what we can tomorrow and discussing. I simply can not countenance another season without our Orchestra in its home.