Friday, March 28, 2008

The Folly of the CBC, Part II, From "Mo"

I've just had a 'phone conversation with my kids' violin teacher who has been a member of the CBC Orchestra for 30 years. She is devastated and somewhat in shock. She expressed what a real privilege it has been to be part of such an exciting, wonderful venue with world-class (really, and not just repeated as PR) musicians and conductors. And, with the stroke of a pen, 70 years has been erased by inept bureaucrats.

Their conductor was told about this decision before Christmas and was expected to inform the members two days prior to Christmas, which he wouldn't do. He has been living with this knowledge since that time. The concert master, in tears, spoke of the orchestra as a jewel.

Like telemarketers, the two people from CBC were completely "on message" yesterday and would not, or could not, directly answer questions that deviated from their script.

The money that these wonderful musicians are paid is a pittance and the money ($600K?) that will be "saved" is small potatoes compared to what the orchestra provides. This decision will have a domino effect -- the orchestra also plays with, for instance, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Cantata Singers, etc. something which will no longer be possible once it is disbanded.

Many in the music community (Bramwell Tovy for instance) packed the lobby of the closed meeting last night to show their support for the orchestra. We can only hope that there will be a ground swell of support and this decision will be reversed, although this is probably unlikely.


cascadian said...

Having been "down-sized" myself I feel for the musicians at a personal level.

However, if they are as good as they say they are I suggest they contact Christopher Gaze of Bard on the Beach. He has proved that culture can be presented successfully, that it need not be so tediously high-brow all the time. He also seems to be able to balance a budget, something that the CBC could not do in a million years.

This is a meagre start to the eventual (hoped for) total demise of state controlled broadcasting

David in North Burnaby BC said...

The CBC is a dinosaur heading for extinction. So it goes. There's work for top flight musicians in the private sector.