Rally Friday to support Minnesota Orchestra musicians

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As the lockout of Minnesota Orchestra musicians reaches a critical stage, Orchestra patrons plan a rally featuring music Friday, Sept. 20, to call for an end to the dispute.

Members of Save Our Symphony Minnesota will hold an “Ending the Lockout Will Be a Ball!” rally starting at 5 p.m. outside Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, in downtown Minneapolis. The rally will run concurrently with the Minnesota Orchestral Association’s Symphony Ball and Crash the Ball events.

“It is not SOSMN’s intention to vilify the donors who are attending the two Ball events, but rather to celebrate music and musicians while asking Ball attendees to use their influence to bring back the Orchestra,” organizers said.

“Save Our Symphony Minnesota is a large coalition of patrons, donors, and students whose concerns have gone unaddressed by the board and management of the Minnesota Orchestral Association during its nearly year-long lockout of orchestra musicians.”

Scheduled rally activities include instrumental performances, choral performances, short statements by movement leaders, and more. Performers will come from many genres of music, and will include Charlie Maguire, the Twin Cities Labor Chorus, New Orleans style jazz group Band of Praise, and the Twin Cities Horn Club.

“Musicians from all traditions recognize the damage the Minnesota Orchestra lockout has done to our arts community,” organizers said.

After locking musicians out of their jobs, the Orchestra cancelled the last season and the next season is in jeopardy. Several prominent artists have left for other orchestras. Internationally acclaimed Music Director Osmo Vanska has said he will resign if the lockout does not end in time to rehearse for two Carnegie Hall concerts scheduled in November.

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