Yesterday in the course of writing an article on Bruce Coppock consulting for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, I quoted music industry blogger Drew McManus, who had the following to say:
…the DSO has hired Bruce Coppock as a consultant although what he’s doing with the organization beyond his meeting presentation is not clear… What is known is that the far-reaching changes Coppock put into place at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra during his time there as the president and managing director don’t seem to be helping that organization fare any better than their peers. Over the past decade, the organization has had endured numerous staff cuts and musician base pay has been cut three times, the most recent of which was in 2009. Whether or not this was taken into account by the DSO when deciding to hire Coppock is unknown.
Well, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra took issue with that quote. Chief Operating Officer Jon Limbacher gave me a call, and pointed out McManus was overly abrupt in his summary of Coppock’s tenure.
“We’re not denying that our musicians have made sacrifices,” said Limbacher, “but it should be taken in the context of the worst economy since the Great depression.”
This year the SPCO musicians obtained a pay increase, although for less than they had originally been contracted.
Limbacher went on to add that, thanks in part to those sacrifices, the SPCO has balanced its budget the last seven years, has no debt, and has also managed to increase its subscriber base by 37%.