South Florida Symphony to Begin Season in Debt to Musicians

South Florida Symphony is gearing up for its 2011-12 seasons in Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach despite still owing tens of thousands of dollars to its musicians, and the orchestra has refused to tell the musicians if or when they will be paid.

South Florida Symphony: Play at Your Own Peril

The orchestra began to experience financial difficulties in 2010. Many musicians who performed for the orchestra in January of 2010 still have not been paid, nor have they been reimbursed for their travel expenses. The orchestra subsequently cancelled their April 2010 concert.

The orchestra resumed operations in the fall of 2010, cutting musicians' pay while increasing the workload and adding significant travel time. Musicians were to be paid for the first concert set by October 23, 2010. Many received only partial payment, and as of this date are still owed. The orchestra cancelled the balance of the 2010-11 season less than two weeks before the December concert, likely after many musicians had already made travel arrangements, and has not held an orchestra concert since.

The orchestra has announced a 2011-12 season, beginning in December 2011. Should you be contacted to perform, please be advised of the orchestra's history and liability toward previous musicians. As there is no AFM agreement covering this work, the ability of the AFM to assist you, should the orchestra continue its past behavior, is severely limited. For more information, please contact South Florida Musicians Association, Local 655 AFM at 954-527-4458 or info[at]afm655[dot]org .



What is the status as of January 2013? I know they have concerts, as I was asked to play, but I ran to the hills. Been ripped off too many times, and their history stinks.
They are definitely performing concerts this week because my friend that lives in NYC contacted me asking if he could borrow my tails for the concert tonight and tomorrow night (he cannot afford to buy tails of his own -- I guess that's typical when you are accustomed to playing for below scale).

Regardless of whether they pay late or on time, they pay BELOW SCALE and we are not supposed to work for less.

We shouldn't even mention "Play at your own Peril" -- no member should play for less than $125 per service (2.5 hours, section player), PERIOD.

And this orchestra would be able to afford scale -- if they would just hire locals -- they wouldn't have to spend all the excessive money on airfare and hotel rooms.

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