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    David Phillip KobalyNov 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Like many people in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area, I grew up listening to the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. It has been an amazing experience to witness all that they have achieved and accomplished in just the last ten to fifteen years, and their inspiring performances played a powerful role in my decision to become a composer. During my music studies at EWU, I had the privilege of knowing several faculty who are members of the symphony, including Drs. John Marshall and Lynne Feller-Marshall. They are among the finest professionals and educators I have ever known, and I have the utmost respect for them and their enormous contributions to the world of music. It saddens me deeply to see such people undervalued–to see their talents taken for granted by administrative number-crunchers who abuse and take advantage of musicians by using their artistic passion and work ethic against them. The symphony members have bent over backwards, demonstrating their willingness to accept considerable sacrifice and work under hugely unfair conditions for the sake of keeping their art alive. Yet, somehow, this isn’t enough. Perhaps the administrators will only be satisfied when the musicians agree to be paid in dried fish. People think that a musician is just a walking IPOD, whose is morally obligated to make the music everyone feels entitled to hear. Musicians are professionals, artists, craftspeople, laborers. We are the plumbers, masons, engineers, and doctors of our trade and deserve to be regarded as such. We are not court jesters and jugglers here for your amusement. We are purveyors of the art you need and crave. We need to share it just as badly as you need to receive it. Musicians like Drs. Marshall and Feller-Marshall have dedicated hours of every day of every year of their lives since early childhood to developing and cultivating the skills necessary for giving you this music. These skills come only with commitment unyielding enough to endure exhaustive labor, frustration and sacrifice, and they are skills few people will ever have. Symphony members make only enough money to meet their familys’ most spartan needs, much less enough to feel appreciated as artists and financially secure. It’s time to stand together and support our symphony (even if you’re living as far away as California, like I am now). They are a part of Spokane’s family and herritage, and deserve to be shown our appreciation. If we don’t help them, they may have no choice but to leave and find work elsewhere. And if we let that happen, then we DESERVE to lose them!

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Spokane Symphony strikes