Ron Patterson

I would like to thank the audience, my fellow NHMF musicians and our
orchestra committee for forcing Graham and Fogel to change their initial
idea of destroying the Festival as it has been. The fact that we are alive for another year is a victory for all of us.

I have absolutely no reason to believe that the intentions of Graham and Fogel have changed, only withdrawn until they can better organize for what they would see as a victory. Loosing a battle does not mean loosing a war. Quite often it is the opposite; a loss allows for understanding the enemy and for better future planning.

I am very uneasy when I see a (huge) 25% wage increase without any description as to what they feel they will get for their money. I feel strongly that moving the Festival from Plymouth and Silver Hall is a recipe for financial failure. And the idea of proceeding with the NHMF without a genuine Music Director promises musical friction, artistic blabber and egomaniacal daily directives.

So, although I am happy the musical body of the NHMF is still breathing, I know the virus is as strong as ever and as intent on killing the body as ever, and that the medicine is not fully formed, tested, or possibly available in the doses needed.

I, for one, need to know what I would be coming to do in the NHMF before committing to any number of weeks – that is if I am even asked back! And I feel that Graham and Fogel will use this uncertainty and “blank check” contract to try to arrive at their same goals. As I see it, the future of the NHMF has to be one without Graham and Fogel.

I hope the concerned public will make this sad one year contract Graham and Fogel’s last undertaking. Then we will all have something to be genuinely happy about.

Ron Patterson
Concertmaster, NHMF since 2001