Next week, contract negotiations resume between musicians and management at the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in an attempt to save the spring season of concerts.
Attempts to come to terms late this summer failed, shutting down the fall and winter seasons. Campbell McDonald is the principal clarinetist for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. The 15-year member of the orchestra also represents the orchestra committee in contract negotiations with management. While some orchestras around the country have resumed truncated and socially-distant performances, that has not been the case with the Philharmonic, because the prior contract had expired. The musicians were furloughed in July, though some benefits remain intact. The musicians had been performing under an expired agreement for a year, and trying to negotiate a new master agreement, as well as safety measures for how to manage performing in a pandemic, McDonald said. “We went forward attempting to negotiate terms for our musicians that would provide work, and would keep the music playing in our community," McDonald said. Musicians want to attach the new safety measures to their prior agreement, which management would not do. For their part, Philharmonic management say they offered to apply prior work rules for the fall season, but that was rejected.