Topic: Members Of Columbus Symphony to play two Pops Concerts
Musicians to hold own version of summer pops
Columbus Symphony labor talks resume Monday
Thursday, July 3, 2008 9:31 PM
By Jeffrey Sheban
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Central Ohioans will get a chance to picnic with the pops this summer after all.
Seeking to fill the void left by the cancellation of the Columbus Symphony's outdoor summer concerts, orchestra musicians will hold two pops concerts next week.
The self-produced concerts will be next Friday in Dublin (outdoors) and July 12 Downtown (indoors). Proceeds will benefit symphony musicians, who have been without pay and benefits since June. The symphony's board of trustees suspended operations June 1 amid projected budget deficits and canceled the popular summer pops series.
Meanwhile, talks aimed at producing a new labor contract, last held on Memorial Day, will resume Monday, this time with the help of two mediators.
Symphony management and 53 full-time musicians have agreed to negotiate under the auspices of Alan D. Valentine, president and CEO of the Nashville Symphony, and John E. Sands, a professional mediator and arbitrator from West Orange, N.J.
The pair will help parties find common ground, but do not have the authority to impose settlements.
"What we hope to do is to make real progress toward reaching an agreement," said symphony board President Robert "Buzz" Trafford.
He said the parties would like to negotiate a new contract in time to salvage the 2008-09 symphony season, which starts in October.
"That has always been our goal to have it start on time, though I'm not sure it can be done," Trafford said.
Musicians have rejected proposals that would slash their pay and have been seeking mediation for months.
"Since both sides are so far apart, having somebody take a look at it from the outside has got to be beneficial," said Jim Akins, principal tuba player for the orchestra.
The upcoming concerts were announced in a news release. Akins said about 70 musicians will participate, most of them full- and part-time Columbus Symphony musicians.
Next Friday's concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Coffman Amphitheater at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Rd. Music educator and conductor John Deliman will lead the musicians in a family pops concert featuring dance music from well-known classics, the release said. Tickets, available at the gate, will cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 or younger.
The July 12 performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 300 W. Broad St. Jaime Morales-Matos, music director of the Central Ohio Symphony, will conduct pops classics from around the world.
The musicians also plan to honor U.S. Marines from Columbus-based Lima company for their service in Iraq.
Tickets will be available at the door for $20. For more information, visit www.MCSConcerts.org.