Monthly Archives: February 2013

Michael Henson’s February 12 Testimony in Seven Minutes

Before I continue with my transcriptions, I wanted to share a video with you that I made yesterday…

“Michael Henson’s February 12 Testimony in Seven Minutes.”

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Transcription of Feb 12 Hearing, Part 1

Minnesota Orchestra CEO Michael Henson appeared in front of the Legacy Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives the afternoon of 13 February 2013. The audio of this hearing can be heard here. The section having to do with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra begins at 42:45.

The legislators who spoke at the hearing were Rep. and Committee Chair Phyllis Kahn, Rep. Mary Murphy, Rep. Dean Urdahl, Rep. Alice Hausman, and Rep. Mike Freiberg.

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PK: The next issue which has been brought to my attention from a lot of people and have also been brought to us I think – I hope to other members of the committee, too – is the, um, public comment on Legacy funds and perhaps general funds. This is – you know, we talk vaguely about the arts at some point, but this is also specific public problem that seems to be before us at this time, which is the issue of the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. And I wanted to – and you know, whenever I talk to someone I realize that I know much less about this than I think I know, from reading in the newspaper, reading newspaper articles and reading people’s, um, comments to me. So again, hopefully this is the start of our conversation on this to see if there’s some role – the state, as I’ve pointed out, is a very large donor to some of these organizations and see what our role can be as that donor. So. Going to start now with the first person for comment is Michael Henson, who’s the President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Mr. Henson? Thank you. And you need to say who you are for the tape. Thanks.

MH: Um. Madame Chair, and Representatives. I’m Michael Henson, the President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra. Thank you very much and I very much welcome the opportunity to address you and answer any questions you have today.

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Save Our SPCO’s Presentation to SPCO Management

While we await news from St. Paul…

Here’s a link to the PDF presentation that Save Our SPCO gave to St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Interim CEO Dobson West and various SPCO board members yesterday. I don’t really have much to say about it besides it’s absolutely fabulous, and I hope that eventually Minnesota management will agree to a similar kind of meeting with Orchestrate Excellence.

This should be a watershed moment in both these conflicts. Are Dobson West and Michael Henson more interested in actual problem-solving…or pouring gas onto the fires of their own ideologies? For too long, too many of us have feared they’re really more interested in the latter. But their responses to these passionate well-educated audience advocacy groups should let us know for certain.

Click to access SOSPCO-Presentation-2013-02-11.pdf

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Live Grammy Telecast

Watch the Grammy telecast live…

http://www.grammy.com/live

Best Orchestral Performance will be the 24th category out of 70.

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Another Hearing and a Lockout Flier

It seems you can’t swing a dead cat these days without hitting yet another politician looking into the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Here’s the latest…

On Tuesday February 12 at 2:15pm, there will be a committee meeting discussing Minnesota Legacy funding in Room 5 of the State Office Building in St. Paul. The Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will be subjects of discussion. Representatives from both sides of the Minnesota Orchestra labor dispute (including Mr. Henson) have been asked to speak. Community voices such as Orchestrate Excellence will also be present. The public is welcome to attend. The Legacy Committee is chaired by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, who, as you may remember, was the first lawmaker to sound the alarm over the Minnesota Orchestral Association’s behavior toward musicians and taxpayers back in early December. It’s worth re-reading her editorial to get a vibe for where she stands on this issue. Needless to say, it ought to be one of the more gripping Legacy committee meetings in recent memory.

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Business Cards for Locked Out Patrons

When I was in the Twin Cities, I was lucky enough to get to talk with many of you. I heard many genius ideas about how to move forward, but one of them really stuck out:

Business cards for locked out patrons.

I know!

It’s brilliant.

I do not know why I did not think of this, say, six months ago. But…better late than never.

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Minnesota Orchestral Association Scam Alert

[UPDATED JANUARY 5, 2015]

This issue at the Minnesota Orchestra has been completely resolved. At one point during the 2012-2014 labor dispute, my readers were concerned at the accuracy of some of what was being said in fundraising calls; hence the title. But nowadays, thank goodness, we are all on the same page and working hard toward a common goal. So please please donate to the MOA when they call or via their website at http://www.minnesotaorchestra.org/give/personal-giving/give-now! I have.

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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.

LOLing

Bwahahaha

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