Reinstate Maestro Scott Gregg as Principal Conductor of JSYO
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For the past four years, I have been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra as an oboe and English horn player under Maestro Scott Gregg. These past four years as part of the JSYO Philharmonic and Repertory Orchestras have been some of the most incredible, exhilarating, and rewarding experiences of my entire life, during which my friends and I got to perform amazing masterpieces of Classical music such as "Pines of Rome" by Ottorino Respighi and Saint-Saëns' "Organ Symphony". And I know that all of my great friends in the orchestra think exactly the same of their experiences.
Up until a couple of days ago, I thought I was looking forward to a 5th, epic year with Maestro Gregg. However, something happened a couple days ago that completely shattered my plans and dreams for next season.
The management of the JSYO sent out an e-mail on April 29th, saying that after 22(!) years with the JSYO, Mr Gregg will be retiring after our final concert for this season, and even went as far as to call this "bittersweet".
These are blatant LIES.
The JSYO management has unapologetically, flat-out lied to us, thinking absolutely nothing of the students, parents, and everyone else involved, including Mr. Gregg.
Mr. Gregg told us the real story later that day; he had NEVER PLANNED on retiring after this concert.
Instead, he was notified that his contract was not being renewed for next year; essentially, Mr. Gregg was being removed from his position without ANY prior notification.
None of us know any potential reason for why Mr. Gregg is being terminated, including Mr. Gregg himself.
For the past 22 years, our beloved conductor, Maestro Scott Gregg, has grown the JSYO from a tiny program of just 65 kids in 1995 to the huge program of 400 kids today.
His influence on the young musicians of Jacksonville has been nothing short of gargantuan. Feel free to ask any one of the 2200 students he has taught during his position here.
I don't want to be among the very last students who can tell others about "what it was like to perform with Mr. Gregg". His position as the principal conductor of the JSYO MUST be continued.
Thank you all so much for reading. If you haven't already, please sign this petition to keep Mr. Gregg teaching and inspiring young musicians well into the future.
-Sammy Park, English Horn and Oboe player, JSYO seasons 2013-2017
EDIT: Here is a local news article covering Mr. Gregg's story.
(Photo credit: Rhema Thompson, December 1st, 2015, Florida Times-Union site)
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