Betsy, principal bassoonist with the CSO, wrote this letter to the Dispatch after Saturday's momentous concert. So far it remains unpublished, which means it's a good letter, since the Dispatch avoids reasonable truth like the plague.
As a musician of the Columbus Symphony, I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by the city of Columbus to perform professionally as a bassoonist. It was my dream since age 8.
Last Saturdayâ€™s performance under our Music Director Junichi Hirokami was a highlight of my life. Before the concert, we musicians mingled with audience members, thanking them for their support. Without them, there would be no orchestra.
During the concert, Maestro Hirokami lit the orchestra on fire, and the audience knew it. As the orchestra members played as one unit, I felt proud of my colleagues for being such masters of their instruments and of the art of ensemble. Never before have I heard such lengthy and enthusiastic applause!
We now stand on the precipice between an orchestra which has been thriving since the 80â€™s and silence. We musicians are ready and willing to take necessary paycuts, especially if outside assistance is brought in to plan administrative improvements. The currently proposed cuts are too drastic- most of us would leave and weâ€™d be left with not the Columbus Symphony, but the Family Dollar Philharmonic. It would not be professional, but part-time, much like the housewivesâ€™ orchestra which existed here many decades ago.
Columbus deserves better than that!