Yesterday afternoon the Chicago Federation of Musicians (AFM Local 10-208) hosted a Labor Rally for the Lyric Opera Orchestra at Daley Center Plaza.
Prior to the rally, the entire Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, wearing concert black attire, walked from the opera house to the Daley Plaza to the solemn beat of three marching drums.
Upon the Orchestra's arrival to the Daley Center Plaza, our fabulous brass ensemble, led by Maestro Mark Fisher, and consisting of members of the Lyric Opera brass section, extra musicians, and students performed moving renditions of works by Susato, Strauss, and Gabrieli.
Brass photos by Del Hall
The rally began with a warm welcome from the President of the Chicago Federation of Musicians--Terryl Jares, followed by prayer led by Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago, and a rousing, fully harmonized "Star Spangled Banner" sung by Wilbur Pauley and rally attendees.
Speakers for the event included:
Rochelle Skolnick, AFM labor attorney
Naomi Bensdorf Frisch, Executive Board Member, ROPA (Regional Orchestra Players’ Association)
Susana Mendoza, Comptroller of Illinois
Don Villar, Secretary-Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor
Paul Austin, President of ICSOM (International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians)
Steve Lester, Chicago Symphony Orchestra musician and orchestra committee chair
Ray Hair, President of the American Federation of Musicians
Rev. C.J. Hawking
Susana Mendoza leads the crowd chanting, "Tu-ba, tu-ba!"
Ray Hair delivering his fiery speech.
As the rally ended, our supportive colleagues from the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) lined up and conveyed words of encouragement to each orchestra musician as we silently filed past.
Thank you to all who attended our rally.
On this dreary day, our spirits were lifted
by the good people of the city of Chicago.
A great city that deserves a world-class opera company.