I write in opposition to the actions of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra board in terminating its 13-year relationship with Mary Woodmansee Green. In doing so, it is undertaking an unnecessary gamble with the viability of our very fine orchestra; an orchestra that has survived where other orchestras have "gone dark" for want of patron support.
There may be financial issues with the orchestra. I believe these issues can be readily solved with prudent cost management and appeals to our enthusiastic audiences that will garner added financial support.
What is not needed is the board's planned state of suspension for a two-year hiatus while it searches for a new conductor capable of providing the "change" the board seeks. I find this idea insulting in view of the great variety of programming that Green has provided since her arrival. If the patrons don't like it, why are more than 600 giving her so many standing ovations?
I make these comments based on my experience and background as the president of the board of trustees of the Syracuse Symphony and as a retired member of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra board.
We need to retain Green as music director for the foreseeable future.
James Van Buren
Hilton Head Island