10/5/09 – SOON Press Release


Save Our Orchestra Now

POB 376

Ashland, NH 03217

CONTACT: Gene Bishop (603) 536-2291


Plymouth, NH – October 5, 2009: Save Our Orchestra Now (SOON), a grassroots organization of NH Music Festival supporters has issued the following statement in reaction to news that the New Hampshire Music Festival’s efforts to reach an agreement with the Festival’s Orchestra are not proceeding well:

At the heart of SOON’s mission is protecting the musical integrity of the New Hamsphire Music Festival. Each summer, for the past 57 years, leading musicians from across the country and around the world have come to central New Hampshire forming an orchestra and a community. Maintaining a professional and respectful relationship with the artists is a core requirement of the Festival’s management. Unfortunately, it appears that the management’s responsibility on this front is not going well. Despite assurances at the end of the season that an agreement had been reached, it now appears that the agreement is a work in progress, that management is struggling with its financial condition and in general the situation seems to be spinning out of control. At risk is the future of the Festival, in question is the ability of its management and the financial condition of the organization.

According to the NH Music Festival musicians’ website, www.nhmfmusicians.org , the so called agreement was widely rejected in a poll of the members by a 59 to 3 vote. Such a clear vote suggests that something is wrong with the process and management seems to be moving in the wrong direction. We fear that the fundamental essence of the Festival is being undermined by a non-public process to alter the musical direction of the orchestra and weak financials associated with a misguided capital investment and relocation effort.

SOON is also concerned with the emerging suggestions that the Festival is facing financial problems related to a combination of capital outlays in real estate, high administrative and management costs, weak fundraising related to alienation of core supporters and a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the organization.

SOON is a citizen group committed to saving the Festival. In light of the developing events around the musician’s situation and related financial problems, we urge the NHMF Board of Directors to take immediate action to correct the situation. We stand ready to assist, but only in an environment in which the Festival’s mission and financial structure is put back in line with the original Festival’s successful direction.

About SOON

Save Our Orchestra Now, is a citizen’s organization committed to saving the New Hampshire Music Festival. The group is comprised of volunteer members who have a long history of supporting the festival as audience members, financial supporters and local hosts to musicians and their families.