St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Faces Budget Troubles
Alan Jackson, Kiss, and Journey are just a few of the big names headlining at the Minnesota State Fair this year. But it was a much different concert that was drawing attention on Tuesday.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra put on a free performance at the fair to raise awareness for what musicians are calling unfair contract negotiations.
The orchestra is facing a million-dollar budget gap from last year, and management is trying to negotiate a new contract with musicians. According to the SPCO, the average musician salary is $90,000. Between 34 musicians, that makes up about 40% of the organization's annual budget.
Management wants to find ways to reduce that to make the group more sustainable, but musicians worry a large pay cut would drive talent away and make the group a "revolving door orchestra."
The contract is up September 30, and the two sides will continue to negotiate.
If you want to hear them perform, their season kicks off September 7 at the Ordway.