Saturday, March 22, 2008

Media and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra musicians' pay dispute as observed by Ron Spigelman, music director of Springfield Symphony

Springfield, Mo, Symphony music director Ron Spigelman writes, "One of the foundation cornerstones is the web-site, a 24/7 relationship building tool and portal into an organization. At the very least it's informational, but it also needs to help define an organization's mission and identity if it's to be effective (we are redoing ours for next season).

In Shreveport the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra site has now been essentially hijacked to become primarily the board and management mouthpiece in the current labor dispute. If you go to it here, you will see several diatribes in huge font like this headline in all caps:


This is so potentially damaging. If you were living in Shreveport and thought, maybe we should check out the Symphony, would you buy a ticket after seeing this headline? There is nothing about any upcoming concert on the home page, little positive at all, just "us against everyone" and the audacity of calling themselves in the headline the SHREVEPORT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. They are the board/management NOT THE ORCHESTRA!!!! Here's the Orchestra. It could have been handled with a simple "if you would like to hear the latest news about the current negotiations please click here", or just put in the news section, not to hide but to at least give people a choice of whether to read it or not. Why accentuate the negative ? The bio for instance of their Music Director Michael Butterman is from the 06/07 season! So they update their "position" daily, but not their MD's bio for over a year? They have essentially dismantled the orchestra's identity and created a new one of division and acrimony."

Spigelman's prespective continues at the conductor's blog, Sticks and Drones.


Anonymous said...

Typical; and just more embarrassment for the city of Shreveport; what common behavior.
The only excuse for such ill-mannered behavior is being

Anonymous said...

Excellent insights! Not only did the board/management post the stuff on the website, they also mailed it to patrons!!! Spigelman really helps to crystallize one of the many things that are going wrong.

Sadly, the board/management are doing nothing to re-build their credibility. After spending the endowment TWICE, it is hard to imagine that they are going to be able to rally the community to save the organization.

For those that believe that this attitude is negative or defeatist, donors and patrons have opportunities to give to other organizations. The idea that we will want to continue to throw good money at something that continues to fail -- without any demonstration that things will really change -- is merely a leap of faith and not based on the current reality.

Anonymous said...

I think the core musicians should look into starting their own orchestra. They are well known, have many friends and followers, and knw the contacts; it would not take a great effort to find support. God knows they could raise/earn enough money to pay the musicians 3500 a year.
Even if the only pay they had was what they earned at concerts and when they actually contracted to work; they could still make more than what the orchestra is offering. They don't need big management; good grief, if they could get Kermit on board, he is a great front person as well as conductor.
Without high priced management; they could all make decent money.
I would turn this fiasco int something positive if I were in their shoes and had their talent amd connections.

Anonymous said...

to add to that; don't look at this as the trying to get rid of you; look at it as an opportunity for the musicians to finally get rid of the management and board, (as it is).

(I do realize there are some good board members, but a few good ones can not control the bad ones.)