Letter from Charles W. Rileigh


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra:

The current strike by members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has gone on much too long: 13 weeks and counting.

The Board has walked away from the settlement possibilities suggested by Governor Granholm and Senator Levin. The Board and Ms Parsons appear to the public to be prolonging the strike in order to force to DSO musicians to accede to the Board’s demands. Now I hear rumors that the current season may be cancelled as well as the possibility of cancelling next season. If these rumors are true (they come from reliable sources), then I think the Board has lost its collective mind. If two seasons are lost, what will happen to your subscription base? What will happen to the loyalty of all those love the DSO? Will Maestro Slatkin stay on in charge of an imaginary orchestra?

One of the principal people I blame is Ms Parsons. She is irresponsible and has managed to back management and the Board into an untenable position – one from which you have nearly no room to escape. Why does she continue to collect her grossly indecent salary when she has nothing to manage? Why has the Board not investigated her decisions and her “loose cannon” behavior? Because of the length of this strike and the anger surrounding it, she should be rewarded: Fire her!!

I have followed the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from 1956, when I was 13. I have attended hundreds of concerts by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, from the time of the golden period of Paul Paray to those of our current conductor, Leonard Slatkin. I have made contributions to the DSO as much as I am able. I wanted to double my contribution in 2010; however, because of the strike, I could not ethically give the DSO any funds until the strike is ended and back playing at Orchestra Hall.

How much longer will the Board allow this terrible situation to continue? The DSO is the city’s crown jewel, known everywhere for her recordings and concerts. I urge the Board and the DSO musicians to get together and in unity, end the strike, bring Mr. Slatkin home, and open the season.

Sincerely yours,

Charles W. Rileigh
Library Assistant III
Technical Services
Science and Engineering Library
Wayne State University

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