[Dixielandjazz] The Changing Music Business:

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Wed Jan 5 13:36:16 PST 2005

In the professional music business no one owns a chair.  The more amateur
the group the more chairs are owned by individuals.  The same can be said
for  teachers many of whom are hired on a yearly contract although in some
states they might get tenure.

The owners of this camp are like band leaders and other business owners.
They are not bound to keep someone on if they don't want them.  In business
reshuffling takes place everyday.

So I would say to those teachers - get a life and get real.  This is the
real world.

Having said that I think the management of this camp is being very stupid.
Basic managerial training says that when you take over a new job as manager
you don't try to change the world because if you try to make changes too
fast you will have a revolt on your hands.  Guess what they've got a revolt
and a war that no one will win.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 10:58 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] The Changing Music Business:

> Long, not particularly OKOM. However a testament to the changing music
> business and what must be done to survive within it.
> Bottom Line? Read the last two paragraphs if nothing else. They do indeed
> apply to OKOM.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> January 5, 2005 - By DANIEL J. WAKIN - NY TIMES
> A Different Tune Is Being Played at a Venerable Music Camp
> Dozens of dismissals and structural changes at the famed and
> Interlochen music camp in Michigan have roiled the ranks of alumni and
> former teachers, with some people promising to withhold donations and keep
> the camp out of their wills.
> Interlochen's administrators say the reaction, including letters to the
> board and angry chatter on an alumni Web site, is the work of a small
> of disgruntled former faculty members, fueled by Internet rumors and a
> muckraking Web journalist who is an alumnus. They dismiss the complaints
> exaggerated.
> Whatever the case, rarely has such ferment rankled the bucolic quarters of
> the summer arts enclave founded 77 years ago in the pine forests of lower
> Michigan. Interlochen is an annual rite of passage for thousands of young
> musicians, the nation's major camp of its type, which claims to produce 10
> percent of orchestral musicians in the country.
> The turmoil began around Thanksgiving, when opponents of the current
> administration said form letters went out to dozens of music teachers,
> saying their services would no longer be needed in 2005.
> "We're calling it the Thanksgiving Massacre," said one teacher, Sydney
> Forrest, who has taught clarinet at the camp since 1959. "I'm chuckling,
> it's nothing to chuckle about."
> Mr. Forrest's daughter, Paula Forrest, a piano teacher at Interlochen for
> years who began attending as an 8-year-old student in 1959, was also
> dismissed. Mr. Forrest is a retired professor at the Peabody Conservatory
> Baltimore, and Ms. Forrest is on the faculty of Iowa State University in
> Ames. Her mother also taught at Interlochen for many years before her
> Ms. Forrest has become the unofficial nexus of the ousted teachers. She
> provided a list of names of at least 52 people who she said had been
> dismissed, out of a music faculty of 144. Many of them, like her father,
> taught there for decades or had also attended the camp. The dismissals
> undermined a deep-seated sense of closeness and camaraderie, she said.
> "It's like being excommunicated from your family," she added. "It was done
> in a very callous way, to get a form letter with a scanned signature from
> place that I believed in more than anything else in my life."
> Jeffrey S. Kimpton, who took over as president of the larger arts complex
> which the music camp is a part in the summer of 2003, said that in fact
> 29 music faculty members were asked not to return, and he said the
> dismissals came as form letters rather than in discussions because of the
> threat of lawsuits. The music faculty this summer would now number at
> 125, he said.
> He said the dismissals were part of a broad effort to update the camp's
> curriculum after 50 years of stasis. Sessions have been cut from eight to
> six weeks and were made more flexible. The board, nearly half of whom are
> alumni, were behind the changes, and donations had not dropped but were
> actually on the rise, officials said.
> In a posting to the alumni Web site, Interlochen's board chairman, Gerald
> Fischer, said declining enrollment, fewer applicants, higher cancellations
> and fewer returning campers were threatening the camp's reputation and
> survival. At the same time, the student-staff ratio last summer was two to
> one. "That is not a sustainable ratio," he said.
> The dismissals were first reported in late November by the Traverse City
> Record Eagle, the local newspaper, and by Drew McManus, who writes a
> for ArtsJournal.com. Mr. McManus, who attended the camp for three years in
> the 1980's, criticized the dismissals. He posted a sample letter of
> complaint to send, and solicited comments from the ousted teachers.
> But even before that, Mr. McManus had criticized, in a detailed series of
> articles, what he said were changes by the new administration under Mr.
> Kimpton that were diluting Interlochen's mission: reducing the focus on
> ensemble playing, bringing in more star teachers and ending a hallowed
> tradition, the challenge system.
> That system helped make Interlochen unique and produced an intensely
> competitive atmosphere for some students. Essentially, players would try
> every Friday to move up a seat in their sections by auditioning for their
> peers, who would vote yea or nay. While it could sometimes be a brutal
> endeavor, many alumni later said it taught them how to deal with
> competition, motivated them to learn their parts, taught them how to play
> front of others and made them better musicians.
> "It was one of the founding concepts of Interlochen," Ms. Forrest said, a
> "friendly but tough competition" among students who already had a bond.
> The system was replaced last summer with less frequent auditions in front
> faculty members. Mr. Kimpton, who, opponents note, never attended or
> at Interlochen, called the previous method "some kind of ridiculous voting
> system" that had grown corrupt, with students picking favorites. Half the
> faculty did not even abide by it in the past because they disapproved, he
> said, and the system no longer mirrored how students functioned in
> conservatories.
> A spokesman for the camp, Paul Heaton, said that Mr. McManus had "fanned
> flames" of the administration's opponents with inaccurate reporting and
> Interlochen officials were no longer talking to him.
> Mr. McManus said that he had repeatedly offered space to camp officials to
> correct any errors but that he would do so only if they would answer
> questions. Mr. Kimpton also issued an implicit threat to take legal action
> against him, Mr. McManus said.
> "I've done a considerable amount of very accurate research," Mr. McManus
> said. "In their desire to make Interlochen a better educational
> the administration has rushed into making changes without conducting
> thorough, proper research among their own faculty, staff and constituents,
> and as a result they have made very bad decisions."
> In an e-mail message, he added that dozens of Interlochen alumni, parents
> and supporters have thanked him for raising the issues.
> The music program, with 2,000 students and 15 ensembles, is just a part of
> sprawling complex on 1,200 acres. The entire arts camp, with an annual
> budget of $27 million, includes creative writing, dance, theater, visual
> arts and new additions like a digital imaging program and music theater
> workshop, but music is the largest part. The complex includes an arts
> festival, a year-round arts high school and public radio stations.
> Mr. Kimpton said the music camp was only one part of a much larger,
> arts institution.
> "Those that want to stay status quo and not change are going to have a
> difficult time surviving," he said. "We're going to survive and thrive,
> these changes are going to get us there."
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