Charleston Symphony Orchestra plays on, but ...
Lindsay Koob, Charleston City Paper's critic, reports today that the orchestra's musicians, staff, and conductors agreed to a pay cut of nearly 23 percent in the form of eight weeks of furlough -- shortening the 2009-2010 season from eight months to half a year.
The musicians voted on the proposal Friday and the results were announced before last night's Masterworks concert by the chairman of the board. The average salary for musicians is likely to be well under $20,000.
By the way, that's below the poverty line for a family of four.
The unofficial scuttlebutt is that the board threatened to stall selling tickets for next season, a good source of revenue that can be used right now, if the musicians didn't agree to the pay cut. That threat was made explicit during a meeting days before the voting deadline.
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