I had to laugh when I read that Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra's president did not know who was behind the Save Our Symphony petition.
It is common knowledge that several well-known, longtime supporters have met with him. I immediately called the symphony office to give my name, address and phone number so they would know at least one of us. I can assure him there was no coercion used to acquire several hundred signatures. People were eager to sign the petition and asked for copies for their friends.
There was no sinister group behind this. It was the result of anger and shock from the grass roots of our community symphony devotees. We all know that it takes more than one person to produce our fine symphony. But firing a popular, capable leader is not the way to solve symphony problems. We also know that most arts organizations run deficits. But the large deficit in 2006-07 came before the financial crisis. That deficit and those of subsequent seasons should be carefully examined. Perhaps a committee of volunteer financial advisors can help determine the source and a solution. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the records should be available to the public.
It is good to hear the audience will evaluate and comment on each of the various applicants for music director. But why were there no similar surveys of our loyal audience, subscribers and donors before the sudden, suspicious announcement that Mary Green Woodmansee would not have a contract after June?
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Ruth ReinholdHilton Head Island