A Syracuse Philharmonic Orchestra Cooperative

Orchestra members should reorganize as cooperative entity
Post-Standard Letter (published Aug 14, 2011).

August 9, 2011

To the Editor:

It strikes me as absurd that Syracuse Symphony Orchestra musicians had so little control over an entity (the orchestra) that consisted almost exclusively of themselves. Since there appears to have been quite a bit of disagreement between the musicians and SSO management, and the management ran the SSO into financial ruin over the years, the musicians may do well to consider a new way to organize to better secure their future livelihood.

I suggest the musicians reorganize as a cooperative entity. The appointment of executive management, board members and other major policy decisions would be voted on solely by the musician/members. This assures self-determination for the musician/members, as a group.

It turns out that the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has already chosen this road, having reorganized itself from a defunct state in 1991. There is a detailed article describing such organization and the Louisiana orchestra's experience in Harmony, magazine of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (October 1999). It is available online.

Perhaps Symphony Syracuse can use it as a guide to create a new Syracuse Philharmonic Orchestra Cooperative.

Carlo Moneti
Syracuse, NY