“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.” - Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912) #This is a post for everyone who is watching the state of American Orchestras decline. There are a couple of important factors for all of us to consider as we hear news of yet another orchestra’s financial troubles coming to light: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is facing a potential $20 million deficit, the Indianapolis Symphony is facing a proposed 40% pay cut, Minnesota is seeking to cut salaries by more than $40,000/year, Philadelphia Orchestra just emerged out of bankruptcy, and Santa Monica Symphony and Delaware Symphony shut down it’s 2012-13 season. What about orchestras in Louisville, Kentucky; Syracuse, New York; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Honolulu, Hawaii? This is heartbreaking and sadly, only the beginning of more bad news to come. Orchestras, are struggling and I hope these ideas help us to understand the causes and paint a vivid picture of what we could become. #
- Change always provokes anxiety and that’s not necessarily an indication that something is wrong. Anxiety just needs to be managed… not that you have to change course.
- The pace that orchestras are confronted with these problems is accelerating. Do not be surprised when you hear about the next orchestra having problems.
- This is not the time to think competitive, but rather a time for us to think about how we can work together. Everyone is fighting for survival, but this is the time for us all to realize that you have something I don’t have and I have something you don’t have… and life will be easier for both of us if we simply share that. Stop thinking about what is yours and realize that when a youth music program gives a rousing concert of Twinkle Twinkle to their parents, we ALL win! They just brought those parents closer to understanding what we do as professional musicians and how hard it is to do that.
- Stop thinking about what you have to give up! This is not about what we must give up!!! What do we gain by changing the way we look at our role?
- Change is not about letting people know you have a problem, getting them to come to your rescue, and then doing the same thing over-and-over again. We can’t revert back to the old way of thinking and being.