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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000056.txt from 2011/04

From: Lori Lovato <>
Subj: [kl] Very sad news for NM musicians today...
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 06:30:06 -0400

Hello Klarinet list,
Here's some very sad news for us today. Can't believe my job is gone....
Hopefully a phoenix will somehow rise from the ashes...
Knew things were bad but I'm still stunned....
Lori Lovato

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NMSO To File for Bankruptcy

By Astrid Galvan<
Copyright =A9 2011 Albuquerque Journal
Journal Staff Writer
After years of financial woes that included musicians going months
without pay, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra will cease to exist.
The board of trustees voted Tuesday to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,
which will effectively dissolve the organization and end its current season,
according to a spokeswoman.
"NMSO, like other orchestras around the country, has been hit hard by
the decline in corporate gifts, changes in music taste, competing venues and
the economy," Chairman John Slipke said in a statement.
"We are saddened by this decision and inspired by the staff and
musicians' commitment to continue working for four months without pay as we
all worked together in our attempt to make NMSO a viable organization.
"The board felt we no longer could ask for the sacrifices that have
been required of those who work for us. The board recognizes its
responsibility to protect its limited assets so that they can be shared with
creditors appropriately."
NMSO will file for bankruptcy today. More than 80 musicians and staff
members will be out of a job.
The organization, which began in 1932, had difficulties making ends
meet for years.
The height of NMSO's struggles came during the recession, when both
donations and attendance dropped off.
In September 2009, NMSO discontinued medical and dental insurance for
employees. The organization had lost more $900,000 in the fiscal year before
2009, according to a letter to the Journal from Coleman Travelstead, head of
the board of trustees.
The organization came close to filing for bankruptcy that year after
months-long employee contract negotiations seemed to go nowhere. But in late
November 2009, musicians agreed to a two-year labor contract that instituted
a pay cut of almost 20 percent for a core of 24 to 32 musicians.
Musicians are paid an average of $16,270 annually, negotiating
committee member Denise Turner said last year.
But they often went without pay. Most recently, musicians and
staffers worked four months without compensation.
Still, only last month organization leaders were optimistic when
announcing the season's concerts. They had recently received a $242,000
donation, which paid off the debt NMSO owed to Popejoy Hall, and allowed
them to keep playing there. Another $50,000 donation helped pay workers
wages owed to them.
The symphony was operating under a $4.2 million budget for this
fiscal year but owed employees more than $500,000.
The nine remaining concerts scheduled this year have been canceled.
People who purchased season tickets will not be refunded and will be part of
the bankruptcy claim, a spokeswoman said.

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