Thinking outside the incendiary “box”

I've decided that the path we are on is not going to get us anywhere. I removed the post about Tony Beadle. I may have my presumptions as to who it may or may not be, but that is not the point, at least not when it comes to looking where we are going. It's like saying to the man responsible for maintaining a leak-proof boat, as you are about to go over Niagara Falls in a canoe, "You failed at your job of preventing leaks!!" Too late for that now.

I've also decided that all this bickering does no good. The situation is what it is now. Everyone should leave the past behind as well as they can and really look at ways to make this work in the present and future. The musicians cannot take all the financial responsibility, but it is not the Board's fault entirely for the situation the symphony is in. Or, even if I think it is, the time has come to seek constructive solutions. I tried to explain this idea to an eleven year old son of a friend; If someone says to you, "you suck!" you feel it is your right to respond, "YOU suck!" and they in turn feel the same. It goes on and on until someone takes the high road.

As I see it, there are 3 main components to a successful symphony...the musicians, the Board, and the administration. (Addendum- I failed to mention one of the most important parts of a successful symphony- THE PUBLIC! No orchestra can consider itself a viable part of its city's culture without passionate and persistent outreach to the community.) If these are not all working together in harmony and with trust in each other, no good can come of it, and there most definitely won't be any success. New tactics and EARNEST, SINCERE negotiating needs to be happening. I feel like in the past few months, the major players in all this have been waging an elementary school playground battle, except that a lot of livelihoods are at stake. Maybe I'm crazy...or maybe I'm just asking too much from the people negotiating.

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4 comments for “Thinking outside the incendiary “box”

  1. July 27, 2008 at

    Jeff, I absolutely agree. Management includes a dedicated staff. Thank you for the encouragement on the new tone.

  2. Jeff
    July 27, 2008 at

    David, thank you. I’ve read a few of your posts, and I have to say I was disgusted at the attitude your blog was cultivating.

    I feel that it’s these attitudes, coupled with personal vendettas, that is truly keeping an agreement from forming. It’s time to put aside feelings and work logically towards a solution.

    By the way, there are FOUR components to a successful symphony. You forgot the staff, most of whom have left for other jobs, and the rest are actively searching.

  3. Jocelyn U-know
    July 27, 2008 at

    David, you couldn’t be more right. This orchestra needs to answer one basic question and that is “can we work with this board and management, at least short term, to have the time to persue a viable future plan” or “we are completely done trying to reach an agreement with this board and need to break away and start new”. The conflict of these two opinions has only confused the issues, prompted some bad decisions on both sides, and seriously diffused the energy needed to make either one a reality. So many are working so hard, but to what end when the forces oppose eachother.

    If the musicians want to salvage the season and cut the lost wages (which are approaching $20,000 for some if you don’t play until December) they need to get realistic about finding a point of agreement with this board. If they want to venture out on their own as a new institution, then they should, but either way “Shit or get off the pot, already!” (pardon my French)

  4. Bob & Pat Nichols
    July 26, 2008 at

    David, a very brave and perceptive post – I hope that “fever” spreads!
    Looking forward to Saturday’s concert.

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