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Topic: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

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  1. #1

    Exclamation Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    The JSO has been put on lockdown. They aren't allowed in their lockers, or in the rehearsal room. All seasons concerts have been cancelled.

    For more info on why see the link below.

    http://jsomusicians.org/

    http://www.jaxsymphony.org/

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/inde...ary&orgid=7238

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...oid=5772642225

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...oid=5772642225

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...oid=5772642225

    http://unf.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...oid=5772642225

    http://unf.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...oid=5772642225



    Please help us save the symphony!! There has been a protest about this. There will be more protests. At the University of North Florida on December 5th @ 7:30 there is a benefit concert to raise money to support the possibilty of the symphony going independant of the city. Please anyone that can help in anyway, please do. You can PM me, or comment here. Or contact the head of the UNF music departmentm, Dr Gordon Brock (904)-620-3832.

    The orchestra has been with us for decades, and for it to go over such a money hungry manager, and lose such a great asset to our community overall is an atrocity to say the least.

    I've gron up with this symphony in my life, and I can't stand to see it go.

    The below may be long and difficult to read, but I ask that you please take the time to give it a review.

    ________________________________________________
    A message from the musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony

    The Jacksonville Symphony Association has locked out the musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony. This means that they will not be permitted to provide music for Jacksonville-area concert audiences and school children.

    At 6:40p.m. Monday the JSA’s management presented an ultimatum to the musicians: by midnight Monday agree to a contract cutting full-time pensions and slashing part-time salaries, or be locked out.

    The musicians of the Jacksonville Symphony are NOT on strike – they want to work and are willing to negotiate to continue to provide music – instead we are prevented from playing.

    The orchestra’s managers insist that Jacksonville won’t support the orchestra. The musicians contend that when Jacksonville’s economy is exploding, up 36 percent in five years, it should follow that contributions should go up to support the musical aspirations of our community. The management couldn’t even raise as much money as they did five years before.

    Why couldn’t the musicians vote for the management’s proposal? By agreeing to the contract, some of the part-time musicians, those musicians who provide the heft in the big orchestral works, could have to absorb a $20,000 pay cut every year. By agreeing to the contract, the full-time musicians suffer a 56 percent pay cut in their pension contributions. A pension cut is not a 5-year cut – that’s a pay cut for life.

    The musicians have been very cooperative in helping solve the Jacksonville Symphony’s problems. Since 2001, the musicians have twice agreed to salary concessions. The problems our managers said would be addressed if we accepted cuts have not been addressed. Our managers instead revisit those very issues to justify us taking more cuts – so that they can address the same problems.

    More concessions will only result in the defection of our orchestra’s best musicians, reduce our ability to attract talented players to replace those who have moved elsewhere, force us to part with fine instruments, and diminish the quality of our ensemble. The idea that the institution’s stability can be built on the financial sacrifices of its musicians is counterproductive and must be changed.

    We ask you to join us in reversing this situation – and have the Jacksonville Symphony reflect the growth and aspirations of our city and our fellow citizens. We ask you to join us in calling or emailing.

    Jim Van Cleck, chair
    Jacksonville Symphony Association
    jvanvleck@jaxsymphony.org (e-mail was shut down...but call him!!!) 904-354-5479

    John Peyton, mayor
    City of Jacksonville
    jpeyton@coj.net
    904-630-1776

    For more information go to www.jaxmusic.org

    This group is to support the members of JSO who are going through this lock down. Please feel free to voice your opinion to the JSO Board and anyone else who will listen. Let's get these amazing musicians and beautiful people their (and the Jacksonville community's) performances back. Support the arts.

    "the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra reaches nearly ¼ million residents on the First Coast and throughout Florida. Nearly half of these residents are children, who benefit from the Symphony’s extensive education programs, including concerts, ensemble performances and master classes, a school partnership program – Symphony Schools – and the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. In addition to a season schedule of approximately 130 concerts, Symphony musicians give nearly 200 educational ensemble performances in schools and senior centers." (http://www.jaxsymphony.org/about/index.php)

    how can they shut this program down?

    the address of Alan Hopper, the board president:
    300 West Water St. Suite 200
    Jacksonville, FL 32202

    the governor,
    Office of Governor Charlie Crist
    State of Florida
    PL-05 The Capitol
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
    Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com

    Lt. Governor: Jeff.Kottkamp@MyFlorida.com

    City Council Members
    Brown, Elaine (At Large Group 2) President ElaineB@coj.net Phone: (904) 630-1381
    Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Alvarez, Warren (District 11) WAlvarez@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1383 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Clark, Richard (District 3) RClark@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1386 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Copeland, Sharon (District 6) SCopelan@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1388 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Corrigan, Michael L. (District 14) Corrigan@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1390 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Daniels, Lad (At Large Group 3) LDaniels@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1396 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Davis, Daniel (District 12) DDavis@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1380 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Fussell, Ronnie (At Large Group 1) RonnieF@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1393 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Graham, Arthur (District 13) ArtG@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1397 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Hyde, Kevin (At Large Group 4)
    Vice President KHyde@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1398 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Jenkins, Suzanne (District 4) SuzanneJ@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1394 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Johnson, Glorious (At Large Group 5) GloriousJ@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1387 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Jones, Mia (District 10) MJones@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1684 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Jones, Warren (District 9) WAJones@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1395 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Lockett-Felder, Pat (District 7) PFelder@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1384 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Ray, Lake (District 1) lray@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1389 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Self, Lynette (District 2) LSelf@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1392 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Shad, Arthur (District 5) AShad@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1382 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Yates, Gwen (District 8) GYates@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-1385 Fax: (904) 630-2906

    Chief Admin. Officer
    Miller, Mickey mmiller@coj.net
    Phone: (904) 630-0656 Fax: (903) 630-2391

    The City of Jacksonville
    City of Jacksonville/Duval County
    117 W. Duval Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32202-3701

    The President
    The White House
    Washington, D.C. 20500
    Phone: (202) 456-1414
    Fax: (202) 456-2461
    president@whitehouse.gov

    Senator Bill Nelson
    Washington Office:
    716 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510-0905
    Phone: (202) 224-5274 Fax: (202) 228-2183
    Main District Office:
    225 E. Robinson St., Ste. 410
    Orlando, FL 32801
    Phone: (407) 872-7161 Fax: (407) 872-7165

    Check out the post below labeled "Please Read" There is some great info in it.
    Yours Truly,
    TubaJediMaster
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:
    http://www.box.net/shared/ejtluyupfb

  2. #2

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    A very troubling situation indeed!

    There seems to be so much of this type of predicament happening across our nation. Libraries, symphonies, public school systems used to be the bedrocks of our cities. Now they scramble for enough funds to survive let alone thrive.

    Our local school district just flirted with the elimination of all extra-curriculars (including vocal and instrumental music) via a levy referendum vote.
    Thankfully, the community's majority (although it was close--60/40) approved the measure and now funding has been restored for 7 more years.
    In our case the unlikely outcome came true.

    Our prayers will be with you and the citizens of Jacksonville that a positive solution to your situation will emerge.
    Keep us posted as the saga unfolds.

  3. #3

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    Dismaying news, Tuba.

    The U.S. has never displayed a great appreciation for The Arts. As a nation, The Arts have always been a low priority. Music, Theatre, Dance as well as the visual arts tend to be considered frivolous "entertainment" rather than essential, meaningful and indispensable activities of a civilized culture.

    And the more conservatively inclined the country is at any given time, the more The Arts suffer. We're all watching many of the most admirable traits of our country melting away under the weight of archly conservative, cynical, and destructive leadership.

    Artists are rebels - and we know how dangerous rebels of any sort can be considered by institutions such as the government which are busy trying to force an arid non-progressive status quo on the population.

    Schools all over my state of Oregon can no longer provide adequate music programs. Schools are lucky to have any funds for producing anything but meager stage productions.

    And that's why this debacle happening in Florida is a microcosm of what's happening nation wide as the country's wealth continues to be sucked out and thrown away for---you know what.

    I looked at all the links you posted - I can be very naive about things like what the typical income is for a musician in a symphony orchestra, so this caught my eye:

    "...By agreeing to the contract, some of the part-time musicians, those musicians who provide the heft in the big orchestral works, could have to absorb a $20,000 pay cut every year..."

    That must mean that these musicians have been enjoying incomes much higher than I would have guessed. Am I reading this right - a single musician would have a $20,000 a year pay cut -? - Indicating that their salary must have been maybe twice that--? I had no idea these kind of figures were involved - And it makes me think that there must be a grey area to this situation. Is it possible that musicians have grown accustomed to a very handsome livelihood which really is unrealistic to maintain?

    As upset as I am by everything I said above, and this morning about the JSO in particular - I'm trying to understand if there is some reasonable question to be asked about the levels to which musician incomes have risen--?

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  4. #4

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    It would be a good thing to have a post, from the management, stating the managers' view before making any decision here.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    rbowser, 40k per year isn't much for this work!
    Sincerely,
    Falcon1


    icelandphotoblog.com
    my cafepress store
    my fine art print store
    my music store

    Please support your fellow musician from Iceland where the currency has fallen 70% against USD and 90% against EURO! Every dollar or euro counts!


  6. #6

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    I looked at all the links you posted - I can be very naive about things like what the typical income is for a musician in a symphony orchestra, so this caught my eye:

    "...By agreeing to the contract, some of the part-time musicians, those musicians who provide the heft in the big orchestral works, could have to absorb a $20,000 pay cut every year..."

    That must mean that these musicians have been enjoying incomes much higher than I would have guessed. Am I reading this right - a single musician would have a $20,000 a year pay cut -? - Indicating that their salary must have been maybe twice that--? I had no idea these kind of figures were involved - And it makes me think that there must be a grey area to this situation. Is it possible that musicians have grown accustomed to a very handsome livelihood which really is unrealistic to maintain?

    As upset as I am by everything I said above, and this morning about the JSO in particular - I'm trying to understand if there is some reasonable question to be asked about the levels to which musician incomes have risen--?

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    Like Tuba, I grew up with the Jacksonville Symphony, played in the youth orchestra for six years, took lessons from two symphony members, have been a season ticket holder, and have performed with the symphony chorus.

    I will say however, in regards to the above quote - the average core orchestra salary is around $38,000 with many making more than $40,000. Not a lot of money if you are in New York, but a very good salary in Jacksonville (for comparisons sake I will say that I work for a major, nationwide company and make around $31,000 per year so the orchestra players get no sympathy from me in that regard - I'd love to make $38,000 per year! Even so my wife and I are comfortably middle class in our market.) Especially considering that they work a limited schedule doing something they love and many of them get unemployment benefits during the summer while the orchestra is out of season.

    As for the part-time players, I can't imagine the symphony pays higher than union scale for the extra musicians, which is under $100 per hour here (last I was paid union scale a few years ago it was around $75/hour.) So I can't imagine any single part-time orchestra member taking a $20,000 pay cut. That would be 250 hours at $80/hour. Assuming 3 concerts per month for 8 months with 12 hours (3 hour concert and 3-three hour rehearsals) of time that is only 288 hours. So I imagine the $20,000 they mention is more of a pool of funds or a projection of players simply not hired (fewer large works).

    The JSO is a fabulous orchestra, with a great conductor, and a state of the art concert hall that is only ten years old and is accoustically magnicifent. To lose the symphony would be a great shame.

    But to ask someone to take a large pay cut at a time when prices are rising, the housing market is down, and they have grow acustom to their current lifestyle would also be a bad thing.

    Corporate donations are down, private donations are down, government donations are down. This isn't the fault of the current political situation, it has been going on for decades if not centuries in America. We just don't support the arts.

    In the meantime one baseball player makes enough per year to keep every orchestra in America afloat for the next five...

    God bless America.

  7. #7

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1
    rbowser, 40k per year isn't much for this work!
    Depends on your market area. $40K in one place makes you rich while it leaves you very poor in other locations... A middle class salary in most of California would make you very wealthy in most of the rest of the US, but a wealthy salary in Idaho would leave you in a slum begging for food in Los Angeles or New York.

    For the market in question here, $40K is upper-middle class.

  8. #8

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    Dr. Charolette Mabrey, principal percussionist in the JSO, and instructor at UNF, put it very simple for us to understand.



    The average JSO musician makes about 38k

    With they pay cuts they are planning to implement, by next year, that same musician making 38k would be down to 18k.

    That is not a typo or an exaggeration. $18000 a year.
    Yours Truly,
    TubaJediMaster
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:
    http://www.box.net/shared/ejtluyupfb

  9. #9

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    Just to itterate:

    Only four of the current JSO players have jobs other than the JSO.

    The rest....that's their bread and butter. They have nothing else. So they lose in the end. As does our community. As does our children, which were already fighting an uphill battle for the arts.

    So in response to Bowser in particular. No these musicians have never really had it made. They've been able to live good lives up until now. But to say they were living the high life is totally inaccurate.

    They were actually, if you read a little deeper in the articles, okay with more pay cuts, on a small scale. This is nearly a 55% pay cut or more in some cases.
    Yours Truly,
    TubaJediMaster
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:
    http://www.box.net/shared/ejtluyupfb

  10. #10

    Re: Save The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!!!

    I'm also a native of Jacksonville (moved west years ago), and as one who spent half of my creative life there, I can only shake my head. This has hit a nerve on many levels.

    I've known and worked with musicians in the JSO, have sung in chorals with the symphony, and have composed for JSO players (in a non-symphony context).

    But this is Jacksonville. Football, both college and pro, is the town's main obsession, and from my experience, the cultural divide has always tipped heavily in one direction. That being said, JSO's longevity is also a testament to those in the community who have loved and supported their efforts - long before there was an NFL franchise (Florida Gators football is a whole different beast).

    I can only hope that legacy of support for the symphony will continue to prevail. We could deconstruct Jacksonville to death, and believe me I have, but the bottom line is that the JSO is only relative to a portion of the culture, and for whatever reason, is now struggling. There's something very telling when the population grows 36% in five years, yet the arts are asked to make cuts. While I agree that market value also plays a part, it's sobering to know how "worth" and priorities are also determined in Jacksonville's cultural climate.

    Where is the private sector in all of this? I think the JSO musicians are spot on with their assessment, but what of the corporations that have underwritten the symphony during these many years? How about the Jaguars' owner....

    Thanks for posting. I'll be watching with keen interest.

    gpax

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