Initially, I had not planned to write a column, but after receiving a call from our good friend Richard Totusek, I wanted to share our brief conversation. Brother Totusek has been ill for quite a while and just recently underwent a successful liver transplant. He asked that I share with you that he is on the mend, and he thanks you all for your cards and best wishes. I, too, extend my best wishes to Richard on a very speedy recovery. I hope to see him this summer at the AFM Convention and the ICSOM Conference. We’re all desperate for your parliamentarian wisdom, Sir. Get well soon!
I’d like to call your attention to a number of articles in this issue of Senza Sordino (partially because I had a hand in writing them!). The ICSOM Electronic Media Committee (EMC) continues to work very hard trying to reach consensus on issues that concern all our orchestras. Of primary concern right now are the ongoing negotiations regarding self-produced recordings. At the same time, syndicated radio, the already-expired Internet agreement, the soon-to-be-expired Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Audio-Visual (SOBAV) agreement, and the upcoming Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA) negotiations are on our radar as well. Please, if you have comments or ideas, I encourage you to contact members of the EMC. We are your voice in these negotiations and everyone should be heard.
The establishment of the Lew Waldeck Fund is an important step in helping all the player conferences find ways to education their members and encourage orchestra advocacy and union activism. Please consider contributing to this fund as an orchestra or as an individual. We hope the fund will be able to provide many opportunities for personal and institutional education to carry on Lew’s legacy in the future.
The message from the ICSOM Governing Board regarding tours and residencies is timely, especially in areas like South Florida where imported orchestras coming to the area might divert interest and financial support and thus hinder the formation of a new orchestra. Touring ICSOM orchestras have a long history of supporting fellow orchestras facing labor strife. In good times and in bad, we need do be proactive in doing what we can to support our brothers and sisters in their cities when we come as visitors.
Finally, the conference mailing is already in the hands of the delegates, and I extend my thanks to the San Diego Symphony for offering to host the Conference once again. Bruce Ridge has written a great article about a change to ICSOM bylaws that encourages Conference sites to be selected years in advance. I, too, would encourage your orchestra to consider hosting the Conference in the next few years. I became involved with ROPA years ago when our orchestra hosted the ROPA Conference. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever participated in. If your orchestra does wish to host the Conference in the future, two orchestras are already preparing a presentation to co-host the 2007 Conference, but 2006 is wide open! Any orchestras interested in hosting the ICSOM Conference should contact me as soon as possible and be prepared to make a presentation at the Conference this summer. A memo concerning Conference-hosting information was included in the Conference mailing and may also be found on the ICSOM website.
The 2005 ICSOM Conference information is at the end of this column. The Conference is tentatively set to include panels and discussions with topics including relations with our locals, negotiations, orchestras that have survived labor strife, and member orientation. ICSOM Counsel Len Leibowitz will continue furthering our knowledge and understanding of various aspects of labor law. Any ICSOM orchestra member is welcome to attend the Conference. I’d also like to encourage orchestra committee and negotiating team members, and especially your attorneys, to consider attending as well. However, I ask that you contact me as soon as possible to let me know you will be attending. This will allow you to receive Conference mailings before the start of the Conference, and it will help ensure that you receive proper credentials at the Conference. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Conference this summer, it’s shaping up to be a good one.