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To the management of Knoxville Symphony Orchestra,

We are writing in support of the musicians of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra who are vital to our town’s cultural and economic way of life. They teach our kids, perform for our families, and patronize our businesses.

We are long-time subscribers, first-time concertgoers, Symphony League volunteers, downtown employees, small business owners, arts administrators, schoolteachers, lovers of classical music, stagehands, ushers, bartenders, truck drivers, and union members.

We are extremely concerned about the path that the last few months of discussions have taken. 

Management has saved millions of dollars in an endowment to which they have unrestricted access yet insists that musicians accept a 27.5% pay cut. This pay cut makes it impossible for musicians to pay bills, rents, and mortgages. Simultaneously, management insists that musicians reserve 12-14 hours/day for a long list of potential services. This scheduling retainer makes it impossible for them to find other work to supplement their sharply reduced income.

We are shocked to learn how little these musicians are respected, and we urge management to seek creative solutions to keep musicians sustainably employed in vital service to the East Tennessee community.


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