Article Summary and Response

Article Summary and Response

ArticleSummary and Response

Inthe article “America`s Orchestras are in Crisis”, Kennicotunderlines the fact that the American orchestras have been undergoinga rough patch in the recent times. He uses the example of theSchermerhorn Symphony Center, which in spite of the massiveinvestment that was made its creation, it has been accumulating debtsand having a bleak future. This is also the case for NashvilleSymphony, which has been accumulating deficits to the tune of $10 to$20 million per year. This paints an extremely bleak picture as faras the future of symphony orchestra is concerned. Indeed, similarsentiments are expressed by Jennie Dorris in “The Audition”,where she gives the story of Tetreault, a Colorado-basedpercussionist who has put in 100-hour weeks of combined gigs only tomake $55,000 per year. This is quite low and would be insufficient tosustain his family given the fact that his wife was retrenched in2010 from the Colorado Symphony, where she held a communications job.This becomes even worse considering the intense competition that onehas to undergo before passing the auditions and being recognized as arespected player. As Dorris notes, accomplished musicians can manageto make some decent earnings of more than $100000 per year, takevacations and lead normal lives. This, however, is only accomplishedafter one has passed the auditions. Of particular note is the factthat the audition is not the final stage where the musician would bejudged. In fact, he or she would be placed on probation for a yearafter which his performance would be evaluated by the same committeethat hired him so as to make a decision on whether he or she is to beawarded tenure. Fortunately, about 90% of the musicians have receivedtenure, which would be a pretty promising figure. As much as notevery other orchestra is in dire strait, Kennicott acknowledges thatall of them are facing similar economic and cultural challenges thatbecame clear in the 2008 economic recession that affected the entireworld including the United States (3).

Nevertheless,Dorris’ article creates the impression that the symphony orchestramay not be experiencing financial constraints and deficits, rather itis only that the competition between the musicians especially fortenure has become more intensive. This means that the accomplishedmusicians, or rather those that have proved to be the best in thebusiness actually make a good living from the same. It should benoted that the economic constraints in the orchestra world becameevident in the 2008 recession, which should not be deemed as the mostappropriate measure of the success of any sector in the economy giventhat every other industry was crumbling. On the contrary, the factthat the accomplished and talented musicians actually make good moneyand that there is immense competition for obtaining tenure shouldunderline the fact that the sector is not in as large a crisis asKennicot would like readers to believe.

Inthe passage, Kennicot states that “The“totalitarian” concert experience that Dare criticized is in factcountercultural, obliging listeners to explore humility throughattention to unfamiliar ideas, without regard to their own immediateneed for gratification”.This statement is pointing at the increased disconnect between thelikes and preferences of the youth population or rather the youngerentrepreneurs and the ideas that are increasingly propagated by theorchestra players. It should be noted that a large number ofindividual donors and institutional funders are questioning thecontinued investment in orchestras, yet the musicians continue tobuild their hopes on the efficiency of renewed fundraising effortswithout considering the change or dynamic nature of the feelings ofyounger generations regarding this type of music. In essence, theorchestra musicians simply want to ignore their current need forgratification and instead pay attention to ideas that are alien tothem. This should point to what is already wrong with the orchestraworld of music. Of course, there are people who are attracted to itsimply because it sets them apart from the masses who would not feelat ease paying excessively for a type of music that does not offergratification to their immediate needs. However, a vast majoritywould only feel comfortable paying for music that appeals to theirsouls. Essentially, it should be clear that the financial problemsthat are attributable to the ignorance of the laws of demand andsupply. If there are changing tastes among the young entrepreneurs,changing the product (music) to suit the same would be imperative.

Giventhe enormous capabilities and creativity of orchestra players, thisform of music plays a crucial role in the community. It should bothentertain and educate the masses about certain aspects of thecommunity. This is the only way it can retain its importance andrelevancy in the community. The music should address the needs of thecommunity and highlight issues that affect people in thosecommunities. This means that they require to be restyled so as tomeet the curiosity of and stimulate their audiences and the masses atlarge (Woodcock 6).


Dorris,Jennie. The Audition. BostonMagazine.Web retrieved from&lt

Kennicott,Philip. America`sOrchestras are in Crisis. NewRepublic,Web retrieved from &lt

Woodcock,Tony. WhyMusic Is Important: The Orchestra Crisis. HuffingtonPost,web retrieved from&lt