Call To Action for donations to Puerto Rico

October 3, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you know, the Musicians of the Puerto Rico Symphony have experienced severe hardship as a result of Hurricane Maria in September. News reports of the catastrophic and dire conditions have shown us the need for ICSOM to respond in an unprecedented way.

A member of ICSOM since 2003, the Puerto Rico Symphony was founded in 1958 by acclaimed cellist Pablo Casals. The musicians have a Facebook page (Músicos de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico), Twitter account (@TuSinfonicaOSPR), and bilingual website and blog (http://www.musicosorquestasinfonicadepuertorico.com). The orchestra's timpanist Jose Martin serves as their ICSOM delegate.

Although the Governing Board was in touch with Jose the day before Maria arrived and devastated the island, it took nearly two weeks to receive word from Jose again due to the lack of cell coverage and electricity. Here is a portion of his message.

"Finally got a little bit of signal, no internet for a good while, the lines are down. We've heard from 10-15% of the musicians, some lost their homes to floods or the winds. We're all grateful for the spiritual, heart and material support. We'll send you info and pics or videos as soon as we can start sending them. The musicians, as they emerge and get in touch are stating that the orchestra will be playing for the different communities and at shelters and fund raisers for all the people affected by the hurricane. Thank you so much from the depths of our hearts! Very grateful!!!"

Former ICSOM Chairperson Bruce Ridge has written about his experiences with the Puerto Rico Symphony musicians from his visits there in 2005 and 2016. His message can be found at www.icsom.org/news/2017-la-orquesta-sinfonica-de-puerto-rico.php.

It is essential that the musicians of ICSOM respond whenever and wherever our members are in need. Let this serve as a CALL TO ACTION for our membership. The generosity of all ICSOM musicians, along with our brothers and sisters in ROPA, OCSM, RMA, TMA and the AFM, will be deeply appreciated.

Your support in this Call to Action will make a difference in the lives of the musicians of the Puerto Rico Symphony. Calls to Action normally involve mailing a check, but mail disruptions due to the hurricane have led us all to believe that wire transfer directly into the bank account of the musicians' association (which is a 501(c)3) is the best plan at this time.

When your donation is ready, please contact ICSOM President Paul Austin (AustinLPaul@gmail.com) to receive the bank routing and account numbers for your transaction, which will likely incur a fee from your financial institution for this service (usually between $25 to $60).

Thank you for your generosity.

In solidarity,
The ICSOM Governing Board

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la Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico