“Put some a** into it, man!”

I know the title is intense, but you'll understand when you read it.

Suggestions for CSO Board from "Down-Bow Man".

The difference between the musicians’ latest contract concession and that of CSO Board Chairman, Robert “Buzz” Trafford, is a mere $1 million. $900,000 to be exact. The musician recent proposal fits within the $9.5 million prescribed by Robert “Buzz” Trafford, but differs in the way the funds are allocated within that arbitrary constraint. The musician plan even includes a 6% rollback in musician compensation, a give-back of $500,000. This plan has been rejected by the CSO Board Chairman, Robert “Buzz” Trafford.

I have a neighbor who is a Vietnam veteran, a real, live piece of American history. He receives a partial military pension due to disabilities resulting from shrapnel wounds, and for diabetes resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. He’s a big burly man.

About ten years ago I was doing repair work on my garage, sistering rotten beams with new wood to keep the structure from falling down. (It must have worked, the garage is still standing.) Much of the repair job involved driving nails in an upward direction. This is considerably harder than nailing downward, where gravity is your best friend. My neighbor, we’ll call him Bob, liked coming over to offer advice and tell tall tales. I welcomed it; it cut the tedium. When he saw that I was unable to drive the nails up, he had some choice words for me. He said, drill-sergeant style, “PUT SOME ASS INTO IT, MAN.” Out of frustration, he finally took the hammer from me and drove the nails home in short order, the unspoken editorial being, “What’s wrong with you, didn’t your father teach you anything?”

Similar advice is warranted in the case of Robert “Buzz” Trafford. Are we to believe he is so lacking in resources, contacts, know how, business associates, leadership, charisma, or community good will, as to be unable to raise an additional $1 million for the CSO, an organization for which he is supposed to be an advocate? How could $1 million be so hard to find in a city as prosperous as Columbus, Ohio, the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States? What would Bob say?

The CSO is, in reality, well on its way to not achieving a $9.5 million budget. Picnic with the Pops, the biggest money maker of the year, is canceled. Tickets for next season are not being sold, depleting funds which would be used to mount Summer and Fall events. Individuals and corporate donors are withholding contributions, waiting to see if the organization has any hope of continuing. GCAC and Thrive in Five funding, to which the CSO is entitled, hang in limbo. Corporations as far away as Tokyo, home of Music Director Junichi Hirokami, are withholding millions, having assessed the management and board of the CSO as incompetent.

Meanwhile, in Central Ohio, public support for live, classical music of professional caliber is stronger than ever. Grassroots organizations have sprung up in defiance of Robert “Buzz” Trafford’s narrow prognostications. Contingency plans are in effect to seize the all-important CSO music library and other critical assets in the event of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Benefit concerts and events to raise public awareness are occurring all over.

Therefore, as a community, let us all shout in unison, to Robert “Buzz” Trafford,

“PUT SOME ASS INTO IT, MAN.”

Down-Bow Man

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