Thank you for the timely Oct. 18 photo of the principal bass of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Patrick McNally, demonstrating his instrument in a free concert for over 1,000 fourth-graders. It is timely because he and his fellow musicians are presently in negotiations with symphony management for a new contract. Terms include “a 13.3 percent pay cut for core members, with further reductions for some members; no guaranteed wages for the second year; difficult attendance policy which inhibits other employment.”
In addition to their symphony schedule, the orchestra members have many obligations: concerts in public schools and in neighboring cities, the new Splash series, Labor Day concerts, Summer Soirees, Winter Soirees, Sandpoint Festival, Accordion Festival, and more. These events require a variety of music and intense preparation. Their wages must be supplemented by other employment.
Spokane is very fortunate to have this top-quality symphony, with highly esteemed conductors, and a beautiful theater to enhance our cultural life. They meld a fabulous music experience worthy of the standing ovation received at every performance. The musicians are the backbone of this organization and deserve the best possible.
As a contributor and subscriber, I strongly urge an equitable resolution to these negotiations.