This issue I take over as Editor from Richard Levine, who has provided a decade of exemplary leadership and service.
Senza Sordino has as its founding principle the importance of communication. While initially this communication was largely between orchestras, a sharing of important information such as negotiating strategies and common issues, it has become increasingly important to communicate with the larger world—with our Locals and our Federation, with our audiences, with our communities. This periodical has published repeated efforts to combat the storm of negative rhetoric about our industry in the wider media. The rest of us also need to remove our mutes so that our positive message of the importance of orchestral music to our communities, and the message of the vibrancy of our orchestras, can be heard loud and clear.
But the transition from con to senza sordino can be clumsy (especially for horn players). Sometimes one can misspeak and inadvertently cause offense. More significantly, one can speak honestly about a controversial topic and cause similar offense. While the first type of offense might require an apology, we should not shrink from open debate about important issues of the day. For, as Richard said at the 2014 conference in Los Angeles, “Unity and consensus cannot be imposed, but must be developed.” The only way to develop consensus is through an uncensored, civil dialogue about the issues. I hope that Senza Sordino will inspire you to drop your mutes, discuss issues with your colleagues, and speak to your communities about the importance of your art.