The new year is looking bleaker than ever for the San Antonio Symphony, after a new non profit designed to pump badly needed money into the orchestra pulled out, prompting the musicians to say the group Symphonic Music for San Antonio, is 'acting like spoiled children,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
SMSA was formed earlier this year in hopes of bringing together local corporations and foundations to craft a long term plan to making the city's chronically financial troubled symphony viable.
But now, SMSA says an audit discovered an unfunded pension liability of more than $4 million that is has no plans to assume, and says it will bow out and return management of the Symphony to the San Antonio Symphony Society.
This comes as the symphony musicians face the expiration of their contract at the end of the year, just as the Symphony was set to play a major role in next year's Tricentennial celebrations.
Craig Sorgi, Negotiating Chair of the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony, released a statement blasting SMSA for using the pension issue as a 'false excuse' to end its efforts to right the symphony's financial situation, saying 'their top priority may have been the pursuit of power rather than the health of the San Antonio Symphony.'
He points out that the pensions won't be an issue unless the musician's employer withdraws from the pension plan.
"The SMSA board members spent months proclaiming themselves the saviors of the San Antonio Symphony. Now, like spoiled children, they have decided to pick up their marbles and leave because they couldn't get their way on everything, including having to deal with a pesky Union that didn't think reducing outstandingly skilled musicians' already-low pay scales was a very good idea," Sorgi said.
He said the musicians are ready to participate in the Tricentennial events and other Symphony performances already set for 2018, the fate of which is now unknown.