Orchestra Iowa Musicians Want A Raise
Musicians that are part of Orchestra Iowa work hard to entertain us, and have evolved for new audiences with new styles of shows in recent years--Symphonic Rock and synchronized music scores with big-screen movie presentations among them. They now want to be paid more to do it.
Individual musicians' pay was not disclosed, but director Tim Hankewich is said to earn upwards of $98,000. He doesn't just wave a wand. He keeps the orchestra in sync, and he participates in the community as an ambassador for the orchestra.
Their current contract went into effect in 2016, expires June 30, and they are lobbying for up to a 30 percent raise, to put them on par with orchestras in Des Moines; Albany, N.Y.; Chattanooga, Tennessee.; Eugene, Oregon.; Pasadena and Santa Barbara, California.; and Wichita, Kansas., among other cities.
Most Orchestra members do it full-time and put in 70-hour or more workweeks, according to representatives who are part of the negotiating process.
I appreciate the work they put in to presenting the best possible shows, and the community is hungry for quality entertainment. They're also very good friends of the radio station.
But times are tough for all of us, and the jury is still out on what higher pay for the musicians might mean for the price of the shows for the public to attend.
Here's hoping they can reach a fair and reasonable solution.