To the Editor:
In her Oct. 10 op-ed piece in the New York Times called “Orchestra for Hire: No Strings Attached,” Deborah Solomon dismissed the New York Philharmonic orchestra’s importance and suggests the Philharmonic musicians “put their royally cultured derrieres on a rumbling bus and ride out in the wilds of America.”
The Philharmonic plays a major role in the cultural life of the New York City. Its centrality of location is necessary to afford ready access from all areas of the city to residents, visitors and musicians.
The Philharmonic musicians do not determine the location of the hall in which they play. The attempt to move to Carnegie Hall was instituted by a top executive without the knowledge of the orchestra, or, I am told, even the Board of Directors.
Certainly, Carnegie Hall, one of the most acoustically sound concert halls in the world, is more satisfying to musicians playing there and to audiences alike. Any musician seeks as agreeable circumstances as possible when he or she plays. But the attempt to change venues was certainly not engineered by the musicians and they certainly should not be blamed for its failure.
People respond to great music, whether the music is written today or centuries ago. The Philharmonic audience is not “just a group of white-haired subscribers,” but rather a cross section of residents and visitors with love of music beyond “sandwiches on crisp baguettes.”
Without the Philharmonic, Lincoln Center would be bereft of an important element in its artistic life. I doubt Lincoln Center is ready to be rid of the Philharmonic.
So, let us not throw the baby out with the bath water. The musicians of the Philharmonic need a venue for rehearsals and performances, the Lincoln Center benefits from their presence, and a misguided attempt to change the venue should not be blamed on those striving to entertain and enlighten.
–Herbert J. Harris
The writer is a retired Philharmonic musician
To the Editor:
I am a member of AFM Local 577, which covers the Poconos area in eastern Pennsylvania. I recently had an unpleasant experience with the Mt. Laurel Center for the Arts, where I perform. I’ve asked Mt. Laurel to remove my name from all of its literature, including brochures and programs. Why? The center canceled two scheduled concerts and did not even extend me the courtesy of a call. I learned of the cancelled dates through an intermediary. I am the co-founder of the Celebration of the Arts, held in Delaware Water Gap for the past 26 years, and I also perform in the jazz world. I have a signed contract from the Mt. Laurel Center and I plan to press my case with legal representatives as well as with the help of Local 577. The center’s callous indifference to musicians in its own backyard is cavalier at best! The Mt. Laurel Center for the Arts is an “arts center” in name only and should be avoided.
To the Editor:
I am writing to you from the State University of New York at Potsdam. We would like to contact professional musicians who are interested in becoming certified to teach in New York City public schools.
Four musicians will be selected from a competitive application process to begin a residence at the Crane School of Music at SUNY (Potsdam) in May 2004. Their residency will be fully funded, including tuition, books, travel, room and board, as well as a monthly stipend for two summers and two semesters. The artist/teachers will be fully certified to teach music in the New York public schools by the fall of 2005. Potsdam is about 400 miles north of New York City.
We have collaborated with the New York City Department of Education and VH1 Save the Music Foundation in the development of this project. “Teach Music in New York City” is a congressionally directed grant, co-sponsored by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. John McHugh.
The value of the four awards is approximately $30,000 each. We have a total of $124,000 to give, in grant-in-aid packages, to a total of four artist/teacher candidates.
Please contact me for more information. Thank you.
–Mary Grace Gordon
Project Director: “Teach Music in New York City”
The Crane School of Music
A331 Schuette Hall, SUNY (Potsdam)
44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676
Direct number: (315) 267-2462
Voicemail in NYC: (212) 946-1477
To the Editor:
Beginning with the election of officers in 2000, Local 802 has allowed the publication of candidate statements in Allegro. By establishing a limitation of 100 words, truly independent candidates are handicapped in making themselves known to the electorate.
Members Party candidates are promoted in their newsletter and advertising is paid for on their behalf by that organization. As truly independent candidates are on their own, 802’s policy distorts the democratic process.
A proposal was introduced to address this inequity at the October membership meeting, but due to certain unfortunate aspects of the meeting, that proposal was neither discussed nor voted upon.
At the meeting, there was no parliamentarian in attendance to attend to questions of order. While it is impossible to know if the outcome of the meeting would have been altered by a parliamentarian’s attendance, it does call into question the order of business as it was established.
Immediately after a quorum was declared, a member of the Executive Board made a motion to forestall discussion of all of the other proposals by altering the order of business. The discussion therefore centered on a controversial proposal by the Executive Board to raise dues paid by the membership. That issue was required to be resolved by a secret ballot, while all other issues could be declared by a voice vote.
By delaying presentation of the voice vote proposals, the membership was denied the opportunity to discuss or declare its opinion on these issues because, after the entire length of the meeting was consumed by discussion of the Executive Board’s proposal and the resulting secret ballot vote was taken, the quorum was lost.
While the motion to reorder the meeting was passed without discussion or dissent, questions concerning the propriety of this motion could have been answered had a parliamentarian been present.
President Moriarity responds:
Before the meeting I had been informed by a member that he planned to propose a change in the agenda. I consulted Robert’s Rules of Order and found that a motion to change the order of agenda was in order and non-debatable. A two-thirds majority was required for passage; as the writer states, the motion passed unanimously. No question as to the propriety of the motion was asked nor did anyone seek the attention of the chair on this or any other matter. Resolution #2 was then debated and passed.