COMMUNITY VOICES | We want our Minnesota Orchestra back

The Minnesota Orchestra performs at Orchestra Hall in 2011. Photo by Nicolas Will (Creative Commons).

The administration of the Minnesota Orchestra should be ashamed of their cold, calculated, and malicious lockout of the musicians. It is quite obvious that the board of directors never intended to engage in open and fair negotiations with the musicians. It is very clear that the goal was to break the musicians' union on both a local and national level, with the assistance of other gluttonous corporate leaders, who don't give a damn about the many artists or their communities. It is terribly sad that greed for greater profits outweighs 110 years of steady growth of a tremendously talented orchestra.

The Minnesota Orchestra is an exceptional group of talented musicians, built on personal and collective commitment to their artistry. Patrons of all ages have shared in their dedication and love of their music for decades. The people of Minnesota have also shown devotion to musical excellence through the support of our tax dollars. 

In one single year, decades of trust have been shattered. The musicians do not trust the board, who locked them out of their own home. The patrons do not trust the board, who received financial support for an upcoming season, which was never intended to be delivered. The tax payers do not trust the board, who stole our tax money with frivolous proposals, outrageous claims, and the construction of a state of the arts building, emptied of the artists and the patrons it was built to serve.

Like the greedy fox, who thought he could outwit the three little pigs, I hope you, who are members of the board, fringe your tails on the fires raging in the hearts and hearths of all those who support our beloved musicians! Run! Run with your tails on fire. Run far from the Minnesota Orchestra's home! 

We want our orchestra back, not the bankers, who banked on the orchestra's destruction long before the lockout happened and long before construction of their new home began. We want a new board of directors, who will rebuild the orchestra, as well as rebuild trust with the musicians; their local, national, and international patrons; and tax payers on all levels of government, who have already given so much in support of members of the Minnesota Orchestra!

Also read Trying to make sense of the Minnesota Orchestra situation (Eleanor Arnason, August 2013)


Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

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  • Thanks for posting my commentary. Thanks to the members of the orchestra, who continue to play at the MN State Fair and other venues, which will house them. Thanks to members of the AFL-CIO, who are hosting a booth at the MN. State Fair. Thanks to IATSE, Local 13: The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union for stagehands and wardrobe members, who are collecting signatures in support of the musicians. And thanks to everyone, who has signed their names in support of the musicians, while attending Minnesota's great get together! I am proud to be a long term member of IATSE 13, and I am proud of the musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra, with whom I have had the great honor to work. Blessings to you all. - by Marie Cooney on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 9:12am
  • this article is just cheerleading for the musicians, devoid of facts, devoid of sound financial solutions, devoid of correct english (things are singed by fire, not fringed), but full of distorted facts. this is the bargaining technique the the musicians have elected...do not submit a concrete plan, but snipe at the board from afar.the muwsicians deserve to get everything that they want, and then watch as the orchestra folds. - by Alvin Krueger on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 7:47am

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Marie C. Cooney's picture
Marie Cooney

Marie G. Cooney

Playwright, writer, story teller, life long thespian!