Orchestra musicians play free concerts after non-pay day - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Orchestra musicians play free concerts after non-pay day

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB-TV Fox 41) -- Musicians from the Louisville Orchestra performed for Thursday night to publicize their plight in the midst of the orchestra's financial problems.

The performance at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in the Highlands occurred one day after the orchestra failed to make its payroll for the musicians.

Musicians had agreed to work through payday Wednesday -- after the orchestra filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

Now their pay, their futures -- and the future of the orchestra -- are all uncertain to.

Chamber musicians from the Louisville Orchestra played not as the orchestra, but as a group of the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Association.

They didn't get their orchestra paychecks on Wednesday.

But they played to promote keeping 71 full-time musicians in the orchestra, despite demands to cut those numbers as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

"The judge has implored us not to use the media to that end. Tonight it's about the music and we were all scheduled to perform tonight anyway, and so it just seemed to make sense to get together and provide a thank you to the community," said musicians association chair Kim Tichenor.

Theresa Noak drove to Louisville from Shelbyville to enjoy the concert.  She's a regular orchestra patron.

"I feel so badly for them that they're stuck in this position. It's quite a plight, they don't make enough money as it is. And to be stuck in its position, you wonder what your future holds," Noak said.

The musicians were originally scheduled to perform for the Louisville Ballet's Nutcracker at the Kentucky Center.  That show will go on through the weekend, but with recorded music.

Back in the Highlands, a live selection from the Nutcracker was on the program.

Musicians handed out pledge cards asking for the public's support -- since they aren't sure when -- or if -- they'll play as part of the Louisville Orchestra again.

"It's in the hands of the courts," Tichenor said.

Calls to the Louisville Orchestra were not returned by news time.

The musicians are asking the orchestra for financial statements and other information to justify its demands now before a bankruptcy judge.

The next hearing in federal court in Louisville is scheduled December 28.

The musicians plan two more free concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Beargrass Christian Church (a chamber concert) and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ballard High School.  The Ballard performance features the full complement of orchestra musicians.

Click http://lomusicians.org and www.louisvilleorchestra.org for more information.

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