Letter from Kassia Martin


To the Board of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra:
As a regular patron of DSO concerts for over 20 years, I am very concerned at the way the current contract dispute is being handled.  From the beginning, many of management’s demands seemed unreasonable and incomprehensible to me, but as time has gone on it seems the situation only gets worse.
How can you simply stand by and watch as management refuses to negotiate in good faith?  While they still collect their salaries?  For doing what?  Certainly not their jobs.  The musicians have done – and continue to do – their jobs, providing world-class musical performances.  Management has not been able to secure the funding they need, and apparently rather than face up to this responsibility they would rather blame the problems on the musicians, patrons, donors, the economy, everywhere but where the blame actually belongs – on themselves.
I know times are tough.  But the solution isn’t to give up and accept mediocrity.  I hope as you read these letters from people around the country, you realize that there is plenty of support for saving our symphony.  It will require a lot of work, and a lot of sacrifice.  The musicians have shown they are ready to do both.  I haven’t seen any such show on the part of management.  At this point, I must ask that you will accept your own responsibility and demand accountability from management, or else replace them with people who are willing to do what needs to be done to accomplish what I assume we all want:  keeping the world-class symphony orchestra that Detroit deserves.  If that isn’t what you want, perhaps you should step aside as well.  Your responsibility is to support and serve the orchestra.  Please live up to that.
Thank you,
Kassia Martin, Hazel Park, MI
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