I attended the recent CSO performance at the Gailliard Auditorium and was shocked by how ragged the "new" orchestra sounded. Yes sir, I showed up and saw and heard a significant difference in quality. I'm hoping this coming Saturday will be different - but can't imagine how that could be since consistency is the basis for improvement in artistic endeavors. Having attended years of performances the quality difference was, unfortunately, hard to miss.
Perhaps Mr. Koob was at a different performance Friday evening than I was. After attending years of performances by the CSO I was bitterly disappointed by the lack of clarity. Throughout the program the strings were a mess, sounding as if they had never played together. Looking at the stands of violins, I saw four players who were previously members of the CSO core. Similar could be said for the other string sections. It was somewhat bittersweet seeing the familiar faces of a few of the musicians who were laid off this season and I'm sure it was difficult for them to perform under the circumstances.
The CSO is not the same - and I'm disappointed that apparently Mr. Koob couldn't hear the obvious difference in quality. While I've got the subscription I purchased in the spring, I'm not sure I will renew for next season. I'll have to see whether the CSO gets its act together enough to be able to hire back some of those laid off, but from what I hear, that's unlikely.
The sad part about all of this is that nothing has changed in the way the CSO is run. The significant change is that the artistic product is mutilated. Fundraising will likely remain irregular. Donors won't get properly acknowledged. In April or May there will be another urgent cry for help. This cycle has become business as usual for this group.
Cautiously optimistic- from attending those community forum discussions we learned this isn't the first set of recommendations which have been ignored or swept under the carpet.
Like many, I try not to throw good money after bad.
After turning a blind eye to years of grossly incompetent management and absent artistic leadership in Charleston the destructive CSO board has repeatedly dumped the resulting mess on the musicians! The problem in Charleston has never been the musicians, yet again the musicians have stepped up to the plate and made additional significant sacrifices in order to try to right this sinking ship.
The CSO needs a board who will actively recruit new competent managerial leadership – and allow them the leeway to do their jobs effectively.
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