We’ve seen a wonderful letter going round the chorus of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra chorus today, a letter full of passion and concern for the future of music as the organisation reconvenes ths weekend around Beethoven’s Ninth. Read and share.
Dear Chorus Friends:
Last time I wore my witch dress I was baking in it … now it needs a few layers’ padding underneath so I won’t freeze.
We have come a long way in a short time. Chorus contributions to this effort were crucial to its success: We performed on the sidewalk and onstage, we showed up for community concerts, we picketed (even new chorus members did!), we refused to cross the picket line, we sent food to the picketers, we demonstrated, we sent letters to everybody we could think of, wrote articles, made speeches, made banners, spoke to the media and anybody else who would listen, hung signs on our cars and in our yards, harangued our professional and colleagues and friends, we passed information around, keeping each other informed and enlightened, kept in touch with former chorus members, wore t-shirts and wrist bands, wrote countless checks. I could rap for days about how we analyzed, strategized, agonized. And we did it because we love making music, and we love this institution, however flawed it is in its upper levels.
This is OUR organization. We are arguably one of the finest choruses on the planet … and we fought — hard, and sometimes bitterly — for the right to continue sharing the stage with our world-class orchestra. As they fought for their livelihoods, they also fought to preserve their artistic reputation. They could not settle for less, and we knew we could not either.
At the end of all this pain and struggle is our opening night, which, like Schiller’s immortal poem, signals a hope for the future: Be embrac’d, ye millions yonder! Take this kiss throughout the world!
But tonight also signals the beginning of a new kind of struggle, which will insure the WAC fulfills its promises. So take a look at all the things the Chorus was up to in past 10 weeks … because in order to preserve our world-class orchestra in this city — make no mistake — we have to rinse and repeat!