I’m writing to implore the Spokane Symphony Society to return to the negotiating table with the symphony musicians. If the current situation drags on too long, I fear that the symphony will fold, a no-win outcome.
The entire city would have to worry about the continued viability of the Fox Theater, since the two are legally linked. In times of economic hardship, people understandably wonder if supporting the arts should be a priority. However, even in the worst of times, people want professional musicians available to play at their weddings, funerals, churches and parties.
We are facing the real possibility of a musician drain in the Spokane region, similar to a brain drain.
At its deepest level, the issue is whether or not the symphony should maintain a core orchestra (a little over half of the entire orchestra). In the Symphony Society’s opinion, it’s clearly dead weight. On the other hand, it is these superbly trained, constantly practicing individuals who, week after week, enable the symphony to put on professional quality performances after four rehearsals for the meager salary of $17,000 a year. An incredible bargain!
I’d rather have a trained army than random people plucked off the street defend me. Wouldn’t you?