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Mayor Sarno and CDO Sheehan joined with Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Local 171 of Musicians Union for Labor Agreement Announcement

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Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tim Sheehan joined with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) President and CEO Paul Lambert and board members, and Local 171 of Musicians Union President Beth Welty and SSO musicians to announce that a labor agreement has been agreed upon. The new two-year collective bargaining agreement will start in the upcoming 2023-24 season and extends through the following season.

State Representative Brian Ashe, philanthropist Lyman Wood, and retired Founder and CEO of Pride Stores Bob Bolduc were among those also in attendance.

According to Paul Lambert, President and CEO of the SSO, the new labor agreement guarantees a total of eight concerts; six Classical concerts and two Pops concerts, for the coming two seasons.  If additional funding can be identified, other community and educational concerts will be produced as well.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno indicated that he is pleased that this longstanding labor issue, which has been a persistent cloud over both the Symphony and the musicians for far too long, has now ended.  As part of this new beginning, Mayor Sarno encouraged the Symphony to reach out more broadly to the Western Massachusetts community, beginning with Springfield’s young people. 

Mayor Sarno states, “As the Springfield Symphony and its talented musicians turn a fresh page of music, in our beloved Symphony Hall, I cannot stress enough how important Springfield’s talented youth are to the success of this new beginning.  Creating a younger, more diverse and more inclusive classical music ecosystem, should be a top priority of the Symphony organizationally.  The success of these efforts will ultimately be reflected in the diversity of the music that is played, those represented on stage and those in the audience.  Everyone, needs to feel welcome in this house, for the Symphony to be successful going forward.”

“Throughout these arduous negotiations, my administration has never wavered in supporting a plausible agreement that is not only mutually beneficial for all parties but is also good for our Springfield community.  I want to thank longtime philanthropist Lyman Wood, my Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan, SSO President and CEO Paul Lambert, the SSO Board, Local 171 President Beth Welty, the musicians, retired Founder and CEO of Pride Stores Bob Bolduc, and everyone involved for their efforts in resolving this matter,” said Mayor Sarno.  Mayor Sarno added, “My/our goal is to once again have the proud tradition of our SSO musicians light up our historic and majestic Symphony Hall with beautiful music for all to enjoy.  These types of arts and cultural events adds to the roster of events we have to offer which enlivens many of our downtown business establishments.”

To support the Symphony’s outreach to Springfield’s young people, some of whom will be the audiences, Mayor Sarno committed on behalf of the city $280,000 to the Symphony’s Youth Educational Programming over the next two years.  This is in addition to the $80,000 the SSO was awarded in the 11th round of ARPA grant awards to support the SSO youth and educational programing.  “Now that there is labor peace, I ask again to our business and philanthropic community, and our residents of the area to support our SSO, for this has been important arts and cultural identity and economic engine for our city,” said Mayor Sarno. 

Mayor Sarno continued stating, “Music education provides the skills and capabilities that help our children be more successful in school and in life. Studies suggest that music education improves test scores and math abilities. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, music activities help young people learn to work together more collaboratively toward a common goal.  We all can benefit from more music in our lives.”      

About the agreement, Lambert said, “This is a great day for Springfield and for the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. For the SSO to survive and thrive we need all parties working in harmony and in the same direction to bring this magnificent music and our talented musicians to the entire community. The agreement will result in the SSO and our musicians working together to grow our audience and build the philanthropic and business support we need in order to be sustainable.”

According to Beth Welty, President of Local 171, “The SSO musicians are very happy to begin a new chapter in our beloved orchestra’s history.  Local 171 of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents the SSO members, congratulates all involved for their hard work in securing this new agreement.  The musicians are eager to collaborate with the board and SSO staff, under the inspired leadership of Paul Lambert, in order to realize our shared dream of an orchestra that fully serves Springfield and Western Massachusetts. The SSO belongs to everyone and we are committed to making our music available to all.”

Tony Falcetti, Board Chair of the SSO said,  “This is a great day for the SSO, for the musicians who play in the Springfield Symphony and for all in our community. Working together is the only way to assure that live orchestral music is sustainable into the future. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the SSO I look forward to our future success together in presenting musical programs and performances that are embraced by all of Springfield and Western Massachusetts.”

As part of the agreement, a pending unfair labor practice complaint by the musicians’ union registered with the National Labor Relations Board will be dropped by the musicians.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm