Today was pretty ugly. On the web it doesn't look as bad, the paper edition is far worse... the short of it is the RCJ decided to wade into the leadership decisions of the Black Hills Symphony Board (not a Knowles on it). I have a lot of respect for Mary Garrigan but this time I think she was wading into waters she didn't know about and inadvertently has given voice (and misplaced credence) to a few extremely mis-informed opinions.. This from a paper that is quite careless with publishing community cultural event times (they always get the sports right, I've noticed), and does not even print concert reviews any more. A paper that has consistently supported this town's efforts to turn the Civic Center into a arena and sports event center instead of the hub of community arts activity it was envisioned to be when it was built in the 1970's.
Here's the web headline:
In contrast, here's the paper headlines, which come pretty close to libel in my book. Truth in advertising, the Knowles are dedicated musicians and very fast friends. But from any point of view, this is way over the line.
UPDATE: Truth in advertising, Bob and Coral White are close friends with Mary Garrigan and her hubby Kevin Woster, another RCJ reporter has a history of reporting unfair to the Suzuki school. Probably just a coincidence that this article is so harsh on the BHSO, which Coral abruptly resigned from in 2006. Isn't quoting close friends or even writing about something you are that close to just a bit over the journalistic line? I can bet that if Heidi Bell Gease wrote this article it would have come out quite differently.
There's lots of stupid stuff like this:
Jeff Johnson, a symphony musician who sat on the search committee, was concerned that the board did not reimburse candidates’ travel expenses or pay candidates who agreed to audition as guest conductors.
“The search committee was not allocated any funds by the board to pay any candidate for their services nor to pay any travel expenses,” Johnson said. “That I do find unusual.
HELLO, Jeff!!! You are a fine cellist and I'm glad you been playing with the group. But you don't seem to understand. THE BHSO DOES NOT HAVE THE MONEY. They don't have $2000 out of their butts to do the kind of advertising and pay guest conductors as you recommend. Sorry. We went through a search with DCU and it's the same kind of deal, it's a part time job and not of huge national interest. Sorry, if you don't like it you can move to Sioux Falls and play with Maestro Bennett, who took full advantage of the opportunity to slam the Rapid City musical community when the Journal called him!!!! The Symphony is in big enough trouble as it is paying the ever-increasing fees to the Civic Center, music rental, and our paltry conductor's salary.
This is good too:
“My understanding is that I was rejected. It was a very stacked deck, and I knew that going in,” said Peacock, a retired music professor who has lived in Rapid City since 2001, where he teaches strings and plays with the Black Hills Symphony.
The truth is when Peacock was rehearsing the orchestra he didn't behave like he wanted the job that much, in that he told musical anecdotes instead of working the music, and so went way over time, putting a big stress on the soloists that were also on the program by basically taking up their rehearsal time. Didn't read about that in the article.
Here's the truth: the RCJ went out and got quotes from the four people that have a problem with how the search has gone because they had an axe to grind themselves. This town loves Jack and Bruce and their family and think that Bruce should have a fair shot at the job. These four folks clearly don't. I'm thinking this will backfire on them, as the people who know the truth come to the defense of the Symphony board.
Well, what can I say: don't believe everything you read in the paper.