The Lexington Philharmonic show goes on this evening at the University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center. A strike by the local musician union has been averted. Both sides agreed to continue their current contract, but differences still stand in the way of a long term agreement.
Dave Shelton is in the horn section and a member of the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians. Management wants to give its music director more power over the hiring and firing of musicians, but traditionally, union members say such control has been exercised by their peers. Shelton calls it a question of job security.
“The morale of the musicians is very high and we’ve have a great deal of solidarity amongst our ranks. We love each other and we love the music and that trumps any outside considerations. When we’re on stage, playing music for our audience, that’s the only thing in our hearts and minds,” said Shelton.
In voting last week for a strike, musicians also said they have "no confidence" in music director Scott Terrell. Plus, they want more freedom over their performances with other organizations. Lexington Philharmonic President Scott King chose not to discuss particular sticking points.
“You know, I’m not gonna get into the particulars of that at this time. We are just very happy that we’re gonna have our opening concert. It’s gonna be a wonderful concert and right now that is our focus,” said King.
The contract extension expires June 30th , so the bargaining is schedule to resume in January.