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No, thank you: Orchestra publicly fires volunteer

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has issued the following press statement:

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra would like to inform its sponsors and media partners that as of July 9, 2013 Jose Reyes is no longer affiliated as a volunteer with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra or with any of its volunteer organizations and/or organizing committees.  

Thank you.”

Whaaa? Wtf?? Support your local orchestra and suffer humiliation???

Read more about it here.


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  1. Nancy Raabe says:

    Yet another poorly conceived act by American arts administrators who let power and politics get in the way of the best interests of the institutions they purport to serve (and which are paying them far better than hard-working musicians can ever hope to receive).

  2. T. Meredith says:
  3. Jose’s response just submitted:
    “Hi Christopher,

    It’s great to hear from you. I was contacted by the new Vice President of Development, Jenny Shepard, and was told that I was no longer welcome as a volunteer at the DSO because I ‘overstep my boundaries’ in dealing with the media, which is absurd.
    As you know as a member of the media yourself, I have never done anything but invite the press to our events so that they can cover the events for their respective publications. That’s it. That’s all. Apparently, this rubs them the wrong way because they feel that they are losing control of the situation.
    Apparently, the PR Department at the DSO feels slighted because I have a more effective approach than their own, and as a result of making them look bad, they are trying to get rid of me altogether. This is really as slap in the face, after all I have done for them over the past ten years. It is their loss.
    This is all news to me, as I have not been doing anything differently than I have for the past ten years. This is the thanks I get for supporting the DSO. This is how they treat their volunteer and donor base, which is a shame. Out of respect for the DSO as an institution, I have keep quiet all of these years. But I wish more people knew what it is actually like behind the scenes over there. They are a miserable bunch and a nightmare to work with.
    As evidenced by their extremely high turnover rate in leadership positions on staff at the DSO, their management in dealing with their volunteer and donor base is in shambles. This is how they treat people. This is how they operate.
    Regards, Jose”
    - See more at:

  4. Scott Hannigan says:

    Maybe both sides of the story should be aired before comments like ‘Support your local orchestra and suffer humiliation’ are published.

  5. Ghillie Forrest says:

    As a volunteer, he should be taking on duties as directed (not to say he cannot contribute input, but those in the employ of DSO should have the decision as to who does what). If, as I assume it does, DSO has a press office, it seems unlikely that his “more effective approach” is necessary. If he feels he can accomplish what that press office cannot, he should have taken his ideas to said office and asked if he could contribute his efforts to the cause of interesting the media in the Orchestra.

    He is represented in the article as something of a social gadfly. The DSO may not consider that that is the kind of publicity they are seeking.

  6. Do you think it’s possible there are two sides to this story? Let’s hear them before pronouncements about classical music’s demise in Dallas are thrown around.

    • His comments are telling:” Apparently, the PR Department at the DSO feels slighted because I have a more effective approach than their own”,

      That’s a terrible thing to say publicly, and far outside the scope of “volunteer”.

      • Orchestra Friend says:

        Exactly. Sorry it came to this, but NOBODY would go to this extreme (what the DSO did) without serious deliberation, and it has nothing to do with shoddy treatment or poor decision making. Can you say LOOSE CANNON?! The fact that he provided a treatise was indicative of the absurd behavior he denies.

  7. Steve Foster says:

    This is really an unfair story to run with, as it’s incomplete. It should also go without saying that this is just repeating what the DSO already stated. I would be interested in hearing what the organisation’s explanation is, but this is too much of a non-issue.

  8. Living just across the way from Dallas (in Fort Worth) I know several people associated with the DSO and the FWSO. From everything I have heard, both organizations have their heads on quite well. If the DSO made this move, then I am inclined to think they had good reason.

    • I agree. I live in the Dallas pond and was surprised that a public statement was made like this by the DSO. But not really surprised there was a need to do something. Just a little shocked they did not handle this volunteer privately and reach out to the media or vendors privately. ??? Or maybe they tried that first and it did not work?

      There is more to this story for sure.

  9. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Sounds to me that neither the DSO or Mr. Reyes were entirely clear from the outset what he was to do.

  10. Jose Reyes says:

    It seems I have become too popular for my own good, and the DSO has become jealous of me, which is such a sad excuse for doing something like this, but it doesn’t surprise me one bit. These events were ones that THEY asked me to chair and promote.

    This is what they are like. I’m just happy that the public finally knows the real truth of what they are like.

    There press release actually backfired on them, because now they look even more foolish than before. They get what they deserve. They are just so ungrateful. Not only was I a volunteer, I was also a generous donor. Key word, was. I will not be giving the DSO any more of my money from now on.

    You do not bite the hand that feeds you. This is why the DSO’s public support is shrinking!!!

    As for me, I can hold my head up high knowing that I stood up for myself and have done nothing wrong. I am not ashamed of anything at all. I’m quite proud of myself actually…

    Regards, Jose

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