Honoring the Founders of ICSOM
Whereas, In the early 1960s there was no orchestra in the U.S. with a 52-week season, and only one orchestra whose musicians sat at the bargaining table with the ability to negotiate their own wages and working conditions; and
Whereas, Previous attempts to contact various orchestras to compare wages, benefits and other information had, until the 1958 St. Louis Symphony survey, met with mixed results which inspired the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to reach out to their orchestral colleagues and invite them to meet in Chicago on May 12 and 13, 1962, at Roosevelt University; and
Whereas, Delegates from Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis and Toronto met in Chicago and, after electing Joseph Golan as chairman and Wayne Barrington as secretary of this meeting, dealt with topics that included establishing a Federation-wide Symphony newsletter, establishing a Symphony department within the AFM, labor problems regarding recording, touring conditions, personal contracts, pensions, probation, tenure and audition procedures, a number of orchestra disputes, revising Article 22 of the AFM’s Bylaws, and establishing ratification rights for orchestras; and
Whereas, Attendees left the Chicago Symposium invigorated and ready to formalize their new organization as the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians when they met again in Cleveland along with delegates from Baltimore, Detroit, Minneapolis and Rochester on September 6–8, 1962; and
Whereas, The first order of business was to elect George Zazofsky from the Boston Symphony as ICSOM’s first Chairman and to begin addressing many of the same topics discussed at the Chicago meetings, thus setting a path that, through the past five decades has improved the wages, benefits, and working conditions for all orchestras thanks to the increased and consistent communication between delegates; and
Whereas, The relationship between many orchestras and their locals, and orchestras and the AFM, has vastly improved due to the official recognition of ICSOM as a conference within the AFM, the granting of ratification rights and the ability to hire attorneys for negotiations, establishment of a Symphonic Services Department, the yearly publication of the ICSOM Wage Charts, establishing the AFM Strike Fund, and more open communication between ICSOM and AFM leadership; and
Whereas, The delegates at those first meetings could only imagine the successful organization they were about to launch in 1962; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Officers and Delegates to the 2012 International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians 50th Anniversary Conference in Chicago offer their gratitude and thanks to those first delegates and attendees—those in attendance at this conference, along with all those who are unable to be here and their loved ones who supported them—who attended the 1962 meetings in Chicago and Cleveland for understanding that continual communication is essential to improve the lives and livelihoods of symphonic musicians across the US and Canada; and, be it further
Resolved, That symphonic musicians acknowledge their debt to these brave men and women who faced persecution from their managers, their Locals and their Federation, and persevered to successfully establish “the I.C.S.O.M.” for the benefit of future generations.
Remembering Robert Coleman
Whereas, As a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony following his graduation from Juilliard, violist Robert Coleman joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1951 and stepped into an orchestra with a small regular season, a nearly nonexistent summer season in which all hiring was at the discretion of a powerful personnel manager, and no orchestra committee to fight for the musicians’ rights; and
Whereas, Robert Coleman became a staunch proponent for change in his orchestra and, in 1962, was chosen by his orchestra to serve as the first Editor of ICSOM’s fledgling newsletter; and
Whereas, While working under extreme pressure, Robert Coleman produced and distributed three issues of ICSOM’s newsletter with assistance from his colleague Joane Bennett—who suggested the name Senza Sordino—and successfully retained his position in the orchestra while being targeted by management for his union activity; and
Whereas, Each of those first three issues of Senza Sordino produced by Robert Coleman display his humor, dedication and passion for the orchestral industry; and Whereas, Not long after turning over production of Senza Sordino to another orchestra, Robert Coleman left the Chicago Symphony in 1964 to join the faculty of the University of Connecticut to teach and become a founding member of the New England String Quartet, then joining the Dallas Symphony in 1978 as principal viola until his retirement in 1988; and
Whereas, His friends and colleagues mourned Robert Coleman’s passing in September 2011; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates and Officers to the 2012 ICSOM Conference honor and remember the contributions of Robert Coleman as a strong voice of support in his call for change and improvement of the lives and livelihood of symphonic musicians in the United States and Canada as ICSOM’s first Editor of Senza Sordino, and to acknowledge that the passion Robert Coleman displayed as he advocated the rights of orchestra musicians set the standard for all who followed in his footsteps these past 50 years.
Remembering Jim Clute
Whereas, Jim Clute joined the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal bass in 1958 following service in the U.S. Army where he was stationed in Germany as a member of the prestigious 7th Army Symphony from 1957–1958; and
Whereas, During his 47-year tenure with the Minneapolis Symphony/Minnesota Orchestra Jim Clute served on numerous negotiation teams working to improve the wages, benefits and working conditions of his colleagues; and
Whereas, Jim Clute served as Minneapolis Symphony ICSOM Delegate in 1963, from 1987–1998 he served again as Delegate for the Minnesota Orchestra as well as ICSOM Member-At-Large from 1987–1999, and also served as ICSOM’s 3rd Delegate to the AFM Convention; and
Whereas, Jim Clute taught students at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Clair, St. Olaf College in Northfield and the University of Minnesota, and received recognition as Minnesota ASTA String Teacher of the Year in 1988; and
Whereas, This multi-talented individual not only performed as bassist with the orchestra but also played saxophone on occasion until his retirement from the Minnesota Orchestra in 2005; and
Whereas, His friends, colleagues and students were saddened by his sudden death in March 2012; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates and Officers to the 2012 ICSOM Conference offer their profound condolences to Jim Clute’s family and thank them for sharing him with the countless students across the country whom he taught, as well as his colleagues in the Minnesota Orchestra and the thousands of colleagues he served in ICSOM.
Brad Buckley Retires
Whereas, Bradford Buckley has had a long and storied career as a bassoonist and leader within the orchestral industry; and
Whereas, During his years at Florida State University Brad Buckley performed with the Jacksonville Symphony, following graduation he became a member of the United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington DC from 1966–1968, and then joined the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) on September 17, 1968, as contrabassoonist; and
Whereas, For the past 44 years, Brad Buckley has served as Chairman of the SLSO Musicians Council and negotiated more SLSO contracts than he can remember, as Vice President of Local 2-197 St. Louis, as a member of the AFM Law Committee during the AFM Convention, and as a member of the faculty of Washington University; and
Whereas, In 1974 Brad Buckley was elected SLSO’s ICSOM delegate, and in 1978 he began his long tenure serving ICSOM first as regional vice-chair for Southern Orchestras until 1982, when he was elected Vice Chair from 1982–1984, and served an early member and chair of ICSOM’s Electronic Media Committee until 2002; and
Whereas, From 1988–1996 Brad Buckley served as ICSOM’s longest serving Chairman and, as an ardent advocate for symphonic musicians everywhere, he was instrumental in helping to establish the Regional Orchestra Players’ Association, served as co-chair of the National Endowment for the Arts Orchestras Panel, oversaw the adoption of the Roehl Report that created the Symphonic Services Division, and formed strong coalitions within the AFM which elevated the influence and profile of ICSOM; and
Whereas, On September 10, 2012, Brad Buckley will officially retire from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates and Officers to the 2012 ICSOM Conference—celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians—offer their thanks and appreciation to Bradford Buckley for his mentorship, his advocacy, and his passion as he fought to improve the livelihood of symphonic musicians across the United States and Canada.
Marsha Schweitzer Retires as Local 677 Secretary-Treasurer
Whereas, Honolulu Symphony bassoonist Marsha Schweitzer has had a long and outstanding career as a union activist; and
Whereas, Marsha Schweitzer’s passion for union rights was on full display when she served on the ICSOM Governing Board as Editor of Senza Sordino from 1996–2002, as well as serve as an Executive Board member of Local 677, and then in 2001 to seek election as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 677; and
Whereas, For the past 11 years, Marsha Schweitzer has worked tirelessly on behalf of all the members of Local 677, and has additionally served all the AFM in her role as a member of the AFM Finance Committee at AFM Conventions; and
Whereas, In April Marsha Schweitzer announced her retirement as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 677; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Officers and Delegates to the 2012 ICSOM Conference extend their thanks, admiration, best wishes and congratulations to Marsha Schweitzer.
Thanking Joseph Mechavich
Whereas, In October 2011, the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association was engaged to provide the orchestra for Kentucky Opera during their dispute with the Louisville Orchestra, Inc. (LOI); and
Whereas, The performances of Carmen received glowing reviews, leading the musicians and community to expect the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association would be engaged for the February 2012 performances of The Merry Widow with newly appointed Music Director Joseph Mechavich; and
Whereas, The Kentucky Opera bowed to peer pressure from the LOI Board and refused to hire the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association to provide accompaniment and instead attempted to hire non-union replacement musicians; and
Whereas, Music Director Joseph Mechavich publicly withdrew from the production rather than to conduct the replacement orchestra; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2012 International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians thank and honor Joseph Mechavich for his integrity and courage when he refused to conduct non-union replacement musicians rather than the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association and offer him their best wishes for a long and successful career.
Thanks to Susan Martin and ICSOM’s Attorneys and Locals
Whereas, Negotiations in the past few years have been exceptionally difficult because of unnecessarily regressive proposals at many bargaining sessions across the country; and
Whereas, The founders of ICSOM understood that face-to-face communication was of greatest assistance to all orchestras when they convened in Chicago and Cleveland in 1962; and
Whereas, ICSOM negotiating orchestra conference calls have begun to include more orchestra attorneys at the suggestion of ICSOM General Counsel Susan Martin; and
Whereas, Two years ago Susan Martin recommended the ICSOM Governing Board explore the idea of inviting orchestra attorneys to an annual conference to exchange observations regarding current negotiation patterns and proposals, and to suggest ideas and methods to respond to some of these proposals; and
Whereas, The response from ICSOM orchestra attorneys and their locals has been very supportive of this endeavor; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2012 ICSOM Conference thank and acknowledge those attorneys and locals that have supported this project financially; and, be it further
Resolved, That all the participants be applauded for recognizing the importance of this conversation and for sharing this vital knowledge and experience to the benefit of ICSOM’s bargaining units and their locals.
Thanking Martha Warrington
Whereas, Martha Warrington has been a member of the Oregon Symphony since 1984; and
Whereas, in addition to performing as a violist in an ICSOM Orchestra, Martha Warrington has become a very successful computer programmer and website developer; and
Whereas, the ICSOM website at www.icsom.org has become a vital tool for advocacy and the exchange of information throughout the orchestral field; and
Whereas, the ICSOM website has not been updated since 2006; and
Whereas, Martha Warrington agreed to undertake the important task of re-designing ICSOM’s website as part of the celebration of ICSOM’s 50th anniversary; and
Whereas, Martha Warrington enthusiastically engaged in this effort with inspiring dedication, as her great ideas, insight and perspective brought needed improvements to the website; and
Whereas, Martha Warrington worked with web designer Nancy Campana in creating a beautifully designed website that will extend ICSOM’s message to an ever-widening audience; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates and Officers to the 2012 ICSOM Conference offer their appreciation to Martha Warrington for her contribution to ICSOM; and, be it further
Resolved, That the Delegates and Officers express their admiration for Martha Warrington’s skills as well as her generosity in creating this important contribution to ICSOM 50th anniversary celebration.
Thanks to the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208
Whereas, The Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208 of the AFM and its Officers recognized the significance of its support and agreement to host the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians’ 50th anniversary conference in the city of its founding; and
Whereas, Local 10-208 and its officers embraced the significant challenges to host a memorable celebration that would celebrate the historic meeting May 12 and 13, 1962, at Roosevelt University; and
Whereas, Working with delegates from Local 10-208’s representative ICSOM host orchestras—the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Orchestra— as well as conference host Bill Buchman from the Chicago Symphony, the Chicago Federation of Musicians and its Officers have displayed incredible support in the funding of the Mixer at Symphony Center, and through their constant attention and communication to make this event truly special; and
Whereas, Through the work of Local 10-208 and its friends August 22, 2012, was declared ICSOM Day in the City of Chicago, and ICSOM’s anniversary conference attendees were welcomed in letters from US Senator Durbin, Illinois Governor Quinn, Illinois Attorney General Madigan, and Chicago Mayor Emanuel; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates and Officers to the 2012 ICSOM Conference offer their thanks and appreciation and gratitude to the officers, staff, and members of the Chicago Federation of Musicians for their support and work celebrating the work of ICSOM these past 50 years.
Matt Comerford (Chicago Lyric), Rachel Goldstein (Chicago Symphony), Dale Newton (Grant Park), ICSOM Governing Board
Thanks to Wayne State University
Whereas, The Testing and Evaluation Service of Wayne State University has helped to develop and then to process Conductor Evaluations for ICSOM member orchestras since they were first computerized in 1982; and
Whereas, Wayne State University is forced to discontinue the present ICSOM Conductor Evaluation Program as of September 30, 2012; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Delegates to the 2012 ICSOM Conference offer their profound thanks to Wayne State University for the many years of processing the thousands of scanned pages and numerous confidential summary reports that were printed and mailed to ICSOM delegates across the United States, with particular thanks to Thomas Wilhelm—now retired—for his help developing the Conductor Evaluation questionnaire still in use today, and to Dr. Laura Woodward, Jeff Cenusa, and staff for their assistance ending the project and beginning anew, and for their efforts these past 30 years.
Cathy Compton (Detroit), Michael Moore (Atlanta)
(Implementation of this bylaw change required ratification by a majority of ICSOM orchestras, which occurred on November 16, 2012)
Whereas, ICSOM celebrates its 50th anniversary as an advocacy organization that has had a profound impact on every symphony musician’s livelihood and well-being; and
Whereas, ICSOM orchestras have been facing challenges that threaten the conditions we have worked so hard to achieve and which require additional advocacy through orchestra site visits and other activities; and
Whereas, Through changes in compensation over the years ICSOM’s dues structure has become unbalanced in that the highest tier dues payment is frozen at a wage of $40,000 per year at a time when some orchestras make three or possibly four times that amount; and
Whereas, It would be appropriate to restructure dues over a two-year period so that dues for orchestras with annual minimum scale between $80,000 and $120,000 would be increased by $10 and orchestras with guaranteed wages above $120,000 would be increased by $22; therefore, be it
Resolved, That ARTICLE VIII – DUES AND FINANCES, Section 3 be amended as follows:
Section 3. For each member orchestra, the amount of dues assessed per year shall be the sum of:
(a) the number of players guaranteed a minimum annual wage below $16,000.00 times $29.00;
(b) the number of players guaranteed a minimum annual wage between $16,000.00 and $22,999.99 times $34.00;
(c) the number of players guaranteed a minimum annual wage between $23,000.00 and $39,999.99 times $39.00; and
(d) the number of players guaranteed a minimum annual wage of between $40,000.00 and $79,999.99 or more times $47.00; and
(e) the number of players guaranteed a minimum annual wage between $80,000.00 and $119,999.99 times $52.00 during the 2012–13 ICSOM fiscal year and increasing to $57.00 beginning in the 2013–14 ICSOM fiscal year; and
(f) the number of players guaranteed a minimum annual wage of $120,000.00 or more times $58.00 during the 2012–13 ICSOM fiscal year and increasing to $69.00 beginning in the 2013–14 ICSOM fiscal year.
Steve Lester on behalf of Rachel Goldstein (Chicago Symphony), John Chisholm (San Francisco), John Koen (Philadelphia), James Orleans (Boston), Penny Brill (Pittsburgh), Norbert Nielubowski (Minnesota), Chris Adkins (Dallas), Jesse McCormick (Cleveland, in writing), Weston Sprott (Metropolitan Opera), Eric Arbiter (Houston), John Lofton (Los Angeles), Chris Woehr (St. Louis), Paul Frankenfeld (Cincinnati), Ken Mirkin (NY Phil), Abigail Evans (National)
All resolutions were put forth by the Governing Board except as noted at the end of the resolutions.