We are so appreciative of all of the hard work and long hours that the orchestra committee dedicated this summer. They truly sacrificed their summer to try to find a way to include all of us next year and to give each of us a chance to return. However, due to so many different circumstances each individual in the orchestra and therefore the orchestra as a whole was not able to have the opportunity to fully understand this “agreement” nor the opportunity to decide if this was the direction that we wished to take with management.
We are not happy with this “agreement” on many fronts but primarily because of what Henry Fogel believes makes a worthwhile musical experience. And more concerning, his implementing of this personal vision with a disturbing disregard for our audience, relationships between musicians and audience, and the true musical fulfillment those relationships give to both the audience and the musician. In agreeing to work for someone who has such a fundamental misunderstanding of what it to be a professional musician and specifically those of us that are drawn to the NHMF experience with all that it has nourished for decades erodes the very essence of what makes the Festival flourish. The replacing of 30% (at least) of our established core musicians on stage with musicians that this mentality/management will choose deeply concerns and grieves us. The fact that this resultant “agreement” makes David Graham “extremely happy” (as quoted in the Laconia Citizen article of August 18) but leaves many of us musicians with a pit in our stomach is a direct and telling reflection of this problem.
In light of this, we believe that the work of S.O.O.N. is not only essential but is the truest movement reflecting the essence of what the NHMF has grown and nourished over its 57 years of service. It is our personal belief that serving our audience and community is the greatest reason and reward for doing what we do as professional musicians. So, please, stand strong for what you know this Festival has and can continue to serve. What you have already accomplished is truly amazing and the main reason why we as musicians are still in the battle as well as being more encouraging to us than the two of us could ever hope to be able to express to each of you. Thank you!