Shreveportmusicians.org.: "The management of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra has stated they will impose a new contract on March 16, 2008 that will eliminate all full-time playing positions within the orchestra. Those musicians who have performed full-time with the orchestra, some for more than two decades, will be forced to accept a 75% cut in pay. The symphony musicians have been working over the course of the current season in a “Play and Talk”, agreeing to perform under the terms of the old contract until a new contract is negotiated. Representatives for the musicians were notified of the statement via letter.
Under management’s imposed plan, full time salaries will go from $12,693 for the 2007-08 season to a part-time salary of $3,123 for the 2008-09 season. Since 2001, the full–time musicians have lready taken pay cuts totaling 27%. Meanwhile, the orchestra has played to rave reviews and packed houses."
Surely a city on the cusp of a buzz aided by the movie biz and expansion of the cyber warfare biz can do more than this. Has the SSO board publicly addressed the issues faced by the organization?
To drop the full-time orchestra players is to lobotomize our city's artistic
life. We are talking about musicians and families who provide not just music, but educational and economic energy.
Losing the core player group means accepting a distinct slippage in the status and quality of performance of the SSO.
But we will still have a vibrant pop culture, won't we?