As a former Michigan resident that still has ties with Grand Rapids, the city where my violin was purchased 30 years ago. I return periodically to have my violin worked on and I have been astounded at the growth Grand Rapids has undergone. I look around and see a thriving and vibrant city, and I am impressed.
Then I hear that the management of the Grand Rapids Symphony is attempting to cut the size of the orchestra and cut pay and benefits to musicians who should finally be rewarded for their perseverance and willingness to perform for far less than they are due. When I travel up the West Coast from Chicago to Grand Rapids, I am always impressed by the number of classical music stations on the radio. These stations play progressive and contemporary works as well as standard repertoire, and there is obviously a great audience for these works. So why would the Grand Rapids Symphony try so hard to retrench?
Grand Rapids wants to attract businesses and audiences and the Grand Rapids Symphony is key to attracting them. These professional musicians who are members of your community and the teachers of your children deserve a livable wage.