ICSOM’s CALL TO ACTION swiftly meets the $200,000 mark to support musicians of the Chicago Symphony

April 24, 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are now in the seventh week of their strike. This strike is the result of unacceptable demands made by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, including minimal salary increases and that the musicians agree to close their defined-benefit pension plan and replace it with a defined-contribution system (e.g., 401k or 403b accounts).

ICSOM issued a CALL TO ACTION on 4-8-2019 and immediately musicians of the San Francisco Symphony responded generously with a lead donation of $15,000 for their colleagues in the CSO. In the past two weeks, the $200,000 mark has been swiftly reached by the generous donations of ICSOM’s member orchestras. This recent CALL TO ACTION also reaches another important milestone, as now over $2 million has been raised and issued to orchestras in ICSOM CALLS TO ACTION since their inception in 2007.

“It has been deeply gratifying to see the speedy response of our member orchestras to our colleagues in peril at the CSO,” said Meredith Snow, ICSOM Chairperson. “Our musicians clearly understand that what happens in Chicago affects us all and have thus responded generously with this collective action.”

It is essential that the musicians of ICSOM respond whenever and wherever our members are in need. It is through our united network of orchestras that we can effectively articulate to our managements that a move against one of us is a move against all of us. The unity and generosity of all ICSOM musicians, along with our brothers and sisters in the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA), the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (OCSM), the Recording Musicians Association (RMA) and the Theater Musicians Association (TMA), and throughout the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), have been an inspiration to our members and a cautionary tale to our managements. The support of our ICSOM orchestras in these Calls to Action has been extraordinary and makes a tangible difference in the lives of our fellow musicians.

Meredith Snow, Chair
The ICSOM Governing Board

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The International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) represents over 4000 symphonic musicians in the top 52 orchestras in the United States. ICSOM's mission is to promote a better and more rewarding livelihood for the skilled orchestral performer and to enrich the cultural life of our society.

Please contact ICSOM Chair Meredith Snow at (818) 786-3776, or by writing meredsnow@gmail.com.

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Chicago Symphony