Our response to the February 2nd Detroit News editorial

February 2, 2011

The Detroit News

To the Editor:

We are dismayed that on February 2nd the Detroit News printed an editorial about the Detroit Symphony labor impasse without contacting the groups that could reasonably be expected to balance the script clearly provided to you by DSO management:  Save Our Symphony, Inc, Saving-the-DSO, the Citizens Group, and the musicians themselves.

We believe that “the numbers” are not the real reason for this impasse. Yes – the organization’s finances are in critical condition, but not beyond salvage. The real reason for the current impasse is that a small handful of misguided individuals on the Executive Board and in management have a mission to change the DSO into a different kind of organization.  The “New Model” spoken about by management and championed by the League of American Orchestras is not what the people of Michigan want or deserve.  The DSO should remain a top rank orchestra, with a full season and a full complement of musicians, not a talent pool for management to draw on to fund their other pursuits.

People who have historically supported the DSO, such as the members of SOS are not currently contributing to the DSO because they do not support this new model or this current management.  We have been assured by our membership that when the current management team is replaced and the orchestra is back on the stage of Orchestra Hall money will begin pouring in.

Please note:  SOS has repeatedly asked DSO management for the financial information you used in your article. We have yet to receive that information or even a confirmation of our request.  DSO management does not have access to our membership list. We are surprised and disappointed you reported their claim that 70% of our members do not contribute to the DSO.

In closing, we can only hope your unfortunate and one-sided editorial does not further delay the return of the musicians to the stage of Orchestra Hall with a contract that is fiscally viable and does not compromise the artistic integrity of this institution.


Save Our Symphony, Inc.

Judy Doyle, President

Denise Neville, Vice president

David Assemany, Secretary

David Kuziemko, Treasurer

Click HERE for a link to the editorial.

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Comments: 5

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  • Julie Gobbell

    Well, I wasn’t a member of SOS when I posted my first comment, but I am going to sign the petition to support the Musicians. I wish I could donate to them. I hope they can continue to provide the community with beautiful music until their skills are properly valued and they are offered contracts that actually make sense for the restoration of the excellent music for which the DSO has always been known.

  • Julie Gobbell

    I am not a member of SOS and I do not contribute financially to the DSO. I don’t even live in Michagan. But I wholehearted support the Musicians of the DSO because I’ve heard the orchestra many times.

    I am dismayed and sick at heart, though sadly not surprised, that the “Management” thinks of the orchestra as some kind of revenue source for pet projects. Short sightedness, greed, and lack of interest in quality, character, and the arts have become a detestable “American” way. I wish they would find some other venue for their egos, like a sports team or something, though I wouldn’t wish this kind of “management” or rather mismanagement, on anyone.

    What can be done to entice those folks to leave Detroit behind and find some other office chairs in which to park their foolish, selfish behinds???

  • Detroit News Edi..

    [...] The Save our Symphony patron group called into question by the Detroit News editorial published an official response, which you can find here. [...]

  • Phil Clampitt

    Bravo, SOS!

  • David Faulkner

    An excellent response to a typical op-ed piece which seems to use gifted leaps of journalism. I read recently in a letter that both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati have made strong efforts to support their musicians despite economic problems. Perhaps someone could uncover their info on how they did just that and share it with the adoring public of Detroit.

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