Friday, August 27, 2010

Beautiful Music

Without question, the thing I would miss most if I moved away from the Detroit area, that exists inside the City itself, would be the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  Yes, I enjoy the Detroit Institute of Arts, but the symphony keeps me coming back week after week.

My original subscription series was for the Thursday night Pops, but often I found that its was 'pops' I was not really interested in hearing.  And then I would exchange my tickets. 

When I had meetings in Lansing on Friday morning for my MGFOA committee, I had to leave at intermission to get home and get enough sleep to make the drive, especially during the winter which necessitated an earlier departure time.  So, I switched to Friday nights and also to the classical series.

I have loved every minute of it (with the exception of two pieces that were truly painful to hear).  I have seen Lang Lang, YoYo Ma, John Williams, and Hillary Hahn, to name a few.  I have gained an appreciation of both the cello and the violin, which never had much appeal to me before hearing them in a concert hall.

For the upcoming season, I switched my tickets to Sunday afternoon.  I figured I did not need to deal with driving in bad weather at night, when it was just as easy to go during the day.

And now I sit here and read the details of a season that may not be.  I understand both sides.  I was both a union president and a member of management in my two different careers.  Both sides have difficult decisions to make.  Management cannot keep hemorrhaging cash.  Especially cash it does not have.  Musicians, as do all workers, do not want to give up salary and benefits.  There has to be a middle ground.

If musicians are right and they can make more elsewhere, and therefore leave Detroit, the quality of the orchestra may well decline.  If that happens, more folks will put their money elsewhere and the company will further decline.  What is clear is that the company cannot continue as it has done in the past.  The money is just not there.

Sound like a vicious circle?  It is.  I hope they reach an agreement, but I may well be spending my Sunday afternoons at home with a good book and a bunch of CDs.

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