The musicians of the Stamford Symphony Orchestra (first photo below) ratified their contract on Dec. 10, 2019. The new, two-year agreement includes significant increases in wages, health benefits, cartage, and mileage, as well as new language covering educational and community outreach programs. The orchestra appointed Russell Jones as executive director in 2018 and recently announced the appointment of Michael Stern as its new music director after an exhaustive two-year search. Many thanks to the orchestra committee (Peter Weitzner, Lisa Tipton, Laura Bald, Lois Martin and Sue Lorentsen) for their diligence in negotiations. Separately, contracts with the Oratorio Society of Queens (second photo) and Sacred Music Society of our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church (third photo) were recently ratified by the 38-member shared bargaining unit. Performance and rehearsal rates increased in each of the two years, and there are increases in cartage and health benefits for the first time since 2013.