Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Issues First Payroll to Musicians
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra issued the first payroll to musicians for canceled concerts. The ASO Board of Directors decided to continue to pay musicians through April for concerts canceled due to the pandemic at the March board meeting.
According to a press release, ASO Board President Jan Hundley said, "When ASO sadly had to cancel the rest of the 2019-2020 season, our musicians stepped up to the plate. During this unprecedented time, they have continued to exemplify the power of music, and how even though we are apart, music is one thing that can bring us together. It's because of the generosity of our patrons that we are able to continue to support our musicians."
ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn said, "When life eventually goes back to normal, ASO wants to make sure our musicians are still here for, and in solidarity with, the community. ASO musicians have been there at special times in our lives – weddings and celebrations of life – and we hope the community can be there for ASO during this challenging time."
The orchestra has moved its music education programs to a teleconference, teaching hundreds of kids remotely each week. ASO musicians are sharing daily music performances (Bedtime with Bach and Mid-Day Music Moments) online to provide comfort in a time of stress. Bedtime with Bach performances have reached hundreds of thousands of people and garnered national coverage from the Washington Post, CNN, and Musical America.
Littlejohn said, "ASO employs the most professional performing artists in the state of Arkansas, and we plan to honor the financial commitment made to the musicians and to maintaining the vision of the organization. The musicians have always been there for the ASO and the community and now we want to be there for them."
The free Bedtime with Bach series is posted each evening at 9 p.m. at facebook.com/arkansassymphony and past videos can be viewed at ArkansasSymphony.org/bedtime.