1/4/10 – Letter to the Musicians

January 4, 2010

Dear NHMF Musicians,

The Orchestra Committee would like to wish you all a very happy New Year. It has been some time since our last communication to you and we are aware of the frustration in not knowing what the future holds.

Over the last several weeks, members of the Orchestra Committee and SOON have been in talks with the Festival, and the Committee can now report that the Festival Board of Directors has decided to make a change from its previous course, the proposed “new model”. Rather than putting the entire Festival at risk of failure, the Board has re-embraced the traditional model in pursuit of its goal to create an exciting musical experience of a high caliber.

Though we have received no written confirmation, we have been assured that the October 2009 Personnel Policy and opt in/opt out letter is now null and void. We have also been assured that our Orchestra, as we have known it, will be in residence at NHMF in 2010.

Many details, large and small, must yet be worked out for next summer and there are also many issues that still need clarification. The Board has planned more January meetings and the Orchestra Committee will be heavily involved with further talks. We are hopeful that most, if not all, of the details will be worked out by the end of January, when the Board is expected to make their official announcement.

At this time we have not been given sufficient assurances by Management to warrant our withdrawal of the charges that we filed at the NLRB in November. Pending further discussions with Management, those charges are still being actively pursued.

We do not take lightly the trust you place in us to act responsively and responsibly on your behalf. We will continue to work toward our stated goal of a secure future for this Orchestra. We are also looking beyond the Orchestra as a singular entity and are exploring opportunities for collaboration, involvement and growth throughout the Festival community, looking towards a better and brighter future for us all.

Thank you so much for all of your comments, support and patience.

In solidarity,
Your Committee,
Ella, Bernard, Joe, Nina