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This is a really troubling op-ed coming from a symphony board leader. The comment about musicians only playing 20 hours a week is incredibly misleading. Mr. Green surely knows that the industry standard is for musicians to play eight 2.5 hour "services" (rehearsals or concerts) per week, which is a lot of playing. To call that part-time is to say that any teacher who isn´t in class, in front of students, 8 hours per day, five days per week, is "part time." Or a surgeon in the operating room. It´s not just the time you´re doing the "public" part of the job that counts.As for "unused services," you will always have some musicians who play more services than others, because different pieces require different instruments. A violinist is likely to play more than a tuba player. But if you are going to have an orchestra that is a true ensemble and not just a bunch of hired hands, you probably need to eat some services; it´s paying for availability. Running an orchestra is difficult; even sold out houses don´t generate a profit. But it´s the responsibility of the board to provide the resources necessary to run the institution. At current salary levels it´s hard to argue that musician costs are the problem. And if the amount of money at stake is really the $50,000/year or so I have read, then the board should really be embarrassed. That´s chump change, even in Spokane, even in a recession.
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