Dear Members of the Board of Directors of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society,
We, the Musicians of the SPCO, are disheartened at the current status of the negotiations, and we share your urgent desire to resume concerts for the community. We are well aware of the financial challenges of the organization. However, we feel there is a more nuanced financial picture than the one that the Management has painted, and there is more than one solution to the crisis.
We have recalculated the cost of our latest proposal, based on all the financial information the Management has provided us and the new harsh reality of the 10 week lockout. As you know, the Management has never budged from their demand that $1.5 million be cut from the Orchestra’s budget. In the spreadsheet that is attached, you will see that a large part of the present budget for the orchestra is for replacement and extra player costs. We discussed this issue in the last negotiation meeting on November 8, and Musicians pointed out that programming within a budget could lead to significant savings in this area. An increase in Baroque programming or a focus on Haydn Symphonies, for instance, could maximize the use of the current roster and save on the use of extras without compromising our artistic standards. If you find yourself wondering why the SPCO spent $1 million dollars on extra and replacement musicians last season, a year in which the Management projected a $1 million deficit and planned t Read More