Tag Archives: Detroit Symphony

Detroit Fellowship Prepares Oboist for the Career Field

In common with many kids who start on a different instrument, Geoffrey Johnson of Local 5 (Detroit, MI) didn’t come to the oboe until after the fact. “I started on the clarinet,” he recalls, “but my teacher in middle school thought I needed more of a challenge.” Progress was rapid, helped by his environment: “Music is a big deal in Texas schools, so growing up in the Houston area, most kids were in band. It just clicked for me, and in my junior year of high school I won first oboe in the all-state competition.”

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Ratifies Contract Early

Seven months in advance of the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), musicians and management of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) ratified a new contract in January. The new agreement takes effect September 7, 2020 and runs through September 5, 2023.

The CBA will increase base salary by 5.1% over three years and will add an additional week of performances in the third year. Musicians will donate up to four services per year to support high-profile performance opportunities and will continue to have the choice to opt in for community performances. The contract adds a new orchestra position in year two, bringing the orchestra complement from 87 to 88 musicians.

Under the new contract, paid family leave will increase and musicians will take on a greater share of the cost of health insurance premiums.

Principal Horn Karl Pituch, chair of the negotiating committee and a member of Local 5 (Detroit, MI), said he believes the contract will allow Detroit Symphony Orchestra to continue to attract the best musicians in the world. The organization shared that the contract is in line with the parameters set in DSO’s 10-year plan for fiscal and artistic sustainability, introduced in 2013.

Detroit Symphony Gift Ties with Largest in Its History

Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has received a $15 million gift from the William Davidson Foundation. Of that pledge, $5 million comes in the form of a challenge grant to grow the orchestra’s endowment. Three other foundations—Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Foundation, and Dresner Foundation—have already pledged
$3.5 million toward the challenge. DSO’s endowment has increased significantly over the past five years. If fully matched, the challenge grant will bring it to $56.3 million.

The Davidson Foundation has a long history of supporting DSO, and has sponsored DSO’s neighborhood concert series for seven years. The gift ties with one from the Fisher family as the largest single donation in DSO history. The atrium at Fisher Music Center will be named the William Davidson Atrium. Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are members of Local 5 (Detroit, MI).