An Old Showcase and Some Censorship

Yes, I’m still alive. Yes, I took a brief Internet hiatus. Yes, I went to the concert. Yes, it was fabulous. Yes, I will be writing about it. Give me time.

In the meanwhile…

When I was in the Twin Cities, a fellow patron and I were perusing vintage programs, because we are nerds. We found this gem from February 2008…Michael Henson’s introductory column in Showcase! We read it aloud for maximum dramatic impact, and then laughed together at its utter absurdity.



Allow me to transcribe:

As I write my first column in this space, I am remembering just what attracted me to Minnesota and the Twin Cities in the first place: not only this fantastic Orchestra and its world-class music director, but also the community, which is to say, you. I cannot tell you how good it feels to begin my new post here, and to start becoming personally acquainted with individuals and organizations around the metro area and state. I’m eager to hear and respond to your questions and your hopes for the Orchestra.

I am grateful and pleased that you’re involved with the Orchestra; I believe this is a most vibrant time to be involved with classical music. When we seek out music – for inspiration, entertainment, comfort and excitement – we have so many options, from CDs and iPods to the radio and, ultimately, the concert hall. After all, what drives us in the symphonic world is the live performance, and we have extraordinary opportunities to share its thrill and freshness with young and old alike.

Thank you for welcoming the Orchestra into your life, and me and my family to your town. I look forward to meeting you, working with you and, most of all, enjoying our tremendous Minnesota Orchestra with you.

Michael Henson

President and CEO, Minnesota Orchestral Association

Sadly, somewhere along the line Mr. Henson’s eagerness to respond to our questions appears to have waned…

Also, you may be interested to know that the Minnesota Orchestral Association has deleted most of the posts on their Facebook wall. Yup, just about everything from post-September has disappeared for the moment. I’m assuming this is censorship rather than a technical hiccup, because it begins at a very specific date.

This was one of the conversations that was scrubbed… I was able to access it after the apparent deletions occurred, but I won’t say how for now.

Oak Is Sustainable 1 Oak Is Sustainable 2 Oak Is Sustainable 3 Oak Is Sustainable 4 Oak Is Sustainable 5

By the way, please forgive any unwarranted sarcasm in that conversation. I’ve posted on the MOA’s wall dozens of times over the months, but nobody there had ever answered my questions. This was the first time the MOA has ever addressed me directly. So as you can imagine, my patience and capacity for kindness is wearing very, very thin.

Anyway, yes. Classy move, MOA. Classy. FYI, you can run from the truth, but you can’t hide. Until you answer them, questions will follow you wherever you go.


Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

8 responses to “An Old Showcase and Some Censorship

  1. David Schaaf

    Emily, you’re priceless. The more the MOA stonewalls, the more ammunition you hurl at them. They’re paying a dear price for ignoring you and I’m afraid they’re going to have to suffer on.

  2. Tom Foley

    This is not a response to the subject at hand. I just don’t know where else to put it.

    I just received a call–like five minutes ago–from a very chipper voiced woman from the Minnesota Orchestra, informing me, something to the effect, that the lobby renovation was complete, and now, unless further money is contributed, the orchestra will cease to be in six months. At least, what she said was something along those lines. The phone call flabbergasted me, and I may be off in the details. I wish I had been cooler and really nailed down what the pitch was, and was able to report it accurately. Sorry.

    But at any rate, I told her that until Mr Henley, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Davis are gone from board leadership, and the new leadership has made peace with the musician’s union, the board can expect no money whatsoever from me–“not one dime”–I know I got that line off.

    I was cool enough, though, to wish her a “good evening” in response to her wishing me a “good evening” as we let the conversation go. Oh, sweet irony.

    Unbelievable. “Con testico” is the only musical term that fits. They got ’em.

    • Um. Holy shit. I don’t mean to swear, but…holy shit. Where do they get off getting to say things like that to an uninformed population??

      At a certain point, can someone sue these people for misleading the public? I know they’ve told people that Chicago has taken massive pay cuts and that Cleveland is playing without a contract, but this is a whole new level of outright lying. What they’re doing should be ILLEGAL.

    • Sarah

      Unfortunately, threatening bankruptcy and/or liquidation appears to be a common tactic these days.

      So let ’em file. Then file a class action lawsuit.

      BTW, Rep. Joe Atkins might like to know of this as well.

    • Sarah

      And Mayor Rybak as well. So much for “neutral”.

  3. Maryann Goldstein

    Next time the MOA phones, someone should record it and send it to Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office. While what MOA is doing is sadly probably not illegal that should get their attention. And totally agree that if MOA is feeling the pinch for donations, we should use this as leverage to get rid of Henson, Davis, et al. Bravo, Mr. Foley!

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Similarities Between The Atlanta and Minnesota Lockouts | Song of the Lark

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