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Fort Wayne Philharmonic Musicians Picket at Quimby Village

Fort Wayne Philharmonic musicians hold signs in front of the parking lot that houses The Clyde Theater on Saturday, December 5, 2020.

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players Association held a protest at Quimby Village Saturday following months of failed negotiations with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic management.

Members of the Players Association stood near the road in front of the Clyde Theater for a little over an hour. Some brought instruments and sheet music, playing Christmas songs and other tunes to passing cars.

Spokesman Campbell MacDonald says the protest was meant to alert the community and civic leaders to the Philharmonic’s “illegal furlough of musicians” and its proposal to cut the number of contract players from 63 to 15.

“Their bargaining position presents a permanent elimination of jobs, fewer concerts and a detrimental reduction of service to our community,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald says they wanted to make a statement about the future of symphonic music in Fort Wayne, but kept their time at Quimby Village short due to the cold weather.

In November, The Philharmonic was placed on the The American Federation of Musicians’ “International Unfair List.” The orchestra has said musicians "have failed to respond to repeated requests to return to the bargaining table."

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