Hartford Symphony Update

I’m pleased to report that I plan to attend our first rehearsal next Saturday morning, September 26th, and expect to receive a paycheck in early October.

Jay Blumenthal (AFM SSD) and Bruce Ridge (ICSOM)

Jay Blumenthal (AFM SSD) and Bruce Ridge (ICSOM)

The Hartford Symphony musicians had a rally on the steps of the state capitol in Hartford at noon on September 9th. AFM representatives from New England and New York locals attended – from Boston, Providence and many others. And we had amazing representation from national AFM members.

International AFM President Ray Hair, ICSOM Chair Bruce Ridge, SSD Chair Jay Blumenthal, our SSD negotiator Nathan Kahn, ROPA Treasurer Donna Loomis, AFM Media guru Debbie Newmark, and so many others. We are so very grateful for the support of all of you.

The community turned out as well — with so many asking me why there was a problem. Why couldn’t “the powers that be” understand how important their orchestra is to them? (One of the several hats I wear is Executive Director of CONCORA, a professional chorus. An elderly member of my “Friends of Bach” committee, Polly Hincks, attended in her wheelchair – I was just so incredibly touched!) So many HSO musician friends from throughout the arts-loving community joined with us.

The good news for HSO musicians is that the NLRB has ruled in our favor regarding the fact that management did not send us individual contracts in May, as stipulated by our contract. They sent contracts for tHSO Rallyhe summer season, but not the rest of the 2015-16 season. (First time for me in 36 years that I’ve not received a full contract!) We now have several other grievances before the labor board as well.

So, we will play under the expired contract and hope that a settlement can be reached sometime this season. Profound thanks and respect to all the musicians on our negotiating team, and to Nathan Kahn for leading us in our continuing struggle to make our “new” management come to their senses about what it takes to have a first-quality orchestra.

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians: shortbeachwebdesign.com.

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here. web.esm.rochester.edu/poly/author/ann-drinan

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