Orchestra Digest: October 24

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This week: NACO tour honours Canada's fallen heroes; Philly Orchestra calls it a comeback; and the battle over orchestra complement in Atlanta. Here are stories we're following....

This week all Canadians mourn the tragic loss of Corporal Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Quebec. Orchestras around the country are paying tribute, while the National Arts Centre Orchestra observed a minute of silence before Thursday evening's concert in Edinburgh, the first stop in their 10-day tour of the UK, as Edinburgh News reported.

CBC News also previewed NACO's tour earlier in the week, noting that the Oct. 29th concert at Salisbury Cathedral will be broadcast both on CBC Radio (on Nov. 9 and 11) and on CBC television in December.

Read more: Orchestra Digest: October 24

Orchestra Digest: October 17

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This week: A nimbler symphonic future; an impromptu requiem in St. Louis; mediation in Atlanta; and Canadian orchestras commemorate WWI. Here are stories we're following....


Bold moves

NY Times critic Anthony Tommasini writes about new directions in symphonic marketing and programming: As subscriptions fall, orchestras aim higher. Many orchestras, including the LA Phil and NY Phil, are experimenting with nimbler scheduling and promotion of concerts, as well as varied events and venues.

A St. Louis Symphony performance of Brahms' German Requiem became the occasion for a community response to Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, the Washington Post reports. As shown in a video accompanying the story, twenty-three protesters staged a flash mob at intermission, standing up to sing a "Requiem for Mike Brown", which was received with respectful applause; they then left the hall without incident, leading a chant of "Black Lives Matter."

Read more: Orchestra Digest: October 17

ATL Symphony: Call to Action!

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Dear Colleagues:
As you know, the Atlanta Symphony has been locked out since the start of their season, and all concerts have been cancelled until at least November 8. This has caused great hardship for the musicians there. It would seem that the same sort of union-busting practiced in Minnesota last year is being repeated.
We are writing to encourage your orchestra to send a donation to help our colleagues in Atlanta. The ASO musicians have a website at http://www.atlsymphonymusicians.com/ with details on how to donate. They also have a US 501(c)(3) [charitable status organization] called the ATL Symphony Musicians' Foundation. A donation there will assist the ASO musicians in producing concerts during the lockout. For more information go to http://www.atlsmfoundation.org/donate.html
The musicians of the Toronto Symphony have already taken initiative and made a donation of $7500 US. In turn, OCSM has built up its own OCSM Relief Fund (ORF) over time, and the delegates have voted to allow the Executive broader discretionary use, so we are sending $1000 US from the ORF.
I can assure you that anyone who has gone through a work stoppage will tell you that every donation, no matter its size, is greatly appreciated by those in need, and the act of solidarity goes a long way to boosting the morale of the group, so your orchestra's contribution need not be large; even a "pass-the-hat" collection would be welcomed.
In addition, I would encourage every OCSM musician to visit the ATL musicians website and check out the "how you can help" page 
Those of you who are active users of Social Media, please consider rallying your orchestras, students, or other ensembles you may be affiliated with to show support through their Social Media campaigns. It may sound trivial to send a photo of support, or a Tweet, but the cumulative effect can and does make a difference. Support from around the world contributed to successful campaigns to save the San Diego Opera last year, and prevent a potentially catastrophic lockout at the Metropolitan Opera this summer. Let's let the world know this whole continent is united for the sake of art.
Yours in Solidarity,
The Executive Officers of OCSM
Robert Fraser, President (Victoria)
Matthew Heller, 1st Vice-President (Calgary)
Elizabeth Johnston, 2nd Vice-President (Canadian Opera Company)
Faith Scholfield, Secretary (Windsor)
Greg Sheldon, Treasurer (Windsor)
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