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Detroit Symphony Orchestra ... on strike!For centuries drummers have been at the forefront of military conflict, setting the pace through their drum cadences as they march soldiers to battle. Although drummers are no longer employed in military campaigns, it appears their long history of leading the charge is still in their blood — and so it is for the entire percussion section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

For over 22 weeks now, 85 musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) have been on strike; there is no end in site. With an overwhelming rejection of management’s final contract offer made on Saturday, February 19th, management and the board made a decision to suspend the remaining 3-1/2 months of the DSO season.

While rumors have been floating about regarding hiring replacements, DSO president, Anne Parsons says "there is no plan to replace anyone. We need to live without our musicians for as long as they are unwilling to work for what we can offer. But the second we find conditions under which they are willing to work, we’ll be back.”

Apparently the entire percussion section of the striking Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians has had enough and won't be back; they've taken new jobs.

DSO principal percussionist, Jacob Nissly has taken the principal position with the Cleveland Orchestra, principal timpanist Brian Jones has accepted the principal position with the Dallas Symphony and assistant principal percussionist Ian Ding has moved to Minneapolis, though not to join the Minnesota Orchestra. A fourth member of the percussion battery, assistant principal timpanist and percussionist Dan Bauch, resigned from the DSO to join the Boston Symphony.

Will the rest of the orchestra musician's take the drummer's lead? "This is a painful thing to talk about," said musicians' spokesman Haden McKay. "But if the board has no commitment to this orchestra, people have to know the result is going to be that the fine players who have come to the DSO over many decades are going to leave."

McKay said "many other" DSO musicians are actively auditioning for other jobs. Asked if that might mean a dozen players, he said: "That estimate would be very low."


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