Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Consequences of Losing an Orchestra

In an editorial this morning, Hawaii's Star-Advertiser pointed out an unmentioned, unfortunate consequence of the Honolulu Symphony's Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
But even in the best of times, symphony musicians had to supplement this part-time salary with side jobs -- usually teaching private lessons to Hawaii's music students. If former symphony members no longer have a base salary to keep them here, many of them will leave the islands, taking an invaluable instructional resource away with them.
The resulting "brain drain" will deal another blow to an arts education that already has been suffering from budgetary cutbacks for years, a situation further degraded by the economic recession.
As the debate goes on in cities around the country about the value of regional orchestras, it's good to keep in mind that as musicians lose their jobs and leave, the community also loses teachers, homeowners, consumers.  It's something that doesn't get discussed often enough.