After a perfectly lovely vacation, Cindy and I returned to Detroit and faced well-below freezing temperatures. It may have been cold outside, but indoors things were heating up on a very positive note.
The orchestra had voted to ratify a new contract, concluding negotiations eight months ahead of schedule. We are now secure for the next three seasons and that means planning can go forward on all levels, both old and new. There remain some significant financial challenges, and the city is mired in a huge problem with the bankruptcy and how it affects the Detroit Institute of Arts. But we are a private, independent organization, so our fate rests solely with us.
And a very Happy New Year to all of you!
It is getting more and more rare for me to spend this time of year at home, and this year, I could be found in the Far East. But the journey began in Lyon.
We wrapped up the old year with a concert of familiar French fare, however some of the pieces were new to many in the orchestra. Take for example the Zampa Overture by Harold. This piece, which used to be a staple of the concert band repertoire, hardly gets a hearing nowadays. We played this delightful, almost Rossinian romp for an afternoon crowd who seemed curious about a piece from their own country that they did not know.