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Letter to the editor: Philharmonic should protect its musicians

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 12:01 am

So, if you have a city orchestra made up of musicians who have honed their craft to the point of being able to, as a professional ensemble, present beautiful music that our city’s audiences pay money to come enjoy, and you need to either save some more money or raise some more money, then why would you choose to, as a first step, reduce the salaries and benefits from the only portion of the entire Fort Wayne Philharmonic that actually produces the music?

It’s a lot like the Congress and the Senate telling the citizens of the United States we all need to cut back, accept less income while receiving less benefits, but absolutely refusing to accept any changes to reduce their own income or benefits.

There is a huge correlation to these two situations, and both are, essentially, quite wrong. Both situations anger me. Wake up, Philharmonic board members. Cutting the salaries of the professionally trained, talented musicians who actually create the music is insanity. Asking them to pay more for their benefits while asking nothing (or very little) from the other, non-performing, staff — particularly executive staff — is simply non-sensible.

Please do not ruin one of Fort Wayne’s wonderfully creative cultural icons. Search your sensibilities — make this situation right, and that means not acting like selfish and greedy national Congress and Senate persons. It means acting sensibly and protecting our Philharmonic and its most important component — the musicians.

James Zanker