Director of Pennsylvania's McKeesport Symphony Resigns Over Board Conflicts

Classic Arts News   Director of Pennsylvania's McKeesport Symphony Resigns Over Board Conflicts
Roger Tabler, the music director of Pennsylvania's McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, resigned in late December because of conflicts with the ensemble's board, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Orchestra manager Lynne Cochran resigned shortly thereafter.

Tabler, who joined the MSO in 2003, and Cochran cited the orchestra board's unwillingness to adapt to the current difficult arts climate. Outreach projects, as well as at least one concert, were cancelled. "The board of McKeesport isn't willing to take the steps that are needed to make the arts work in today's atmosphere," Cochran told the Post-Gazette.

In addition, Tabler said, it was hard to know what the board wanted at all. "I don't know what direction the board wants to go any more now than before. I was told I was in the driver's seat but discovered I was only a chaffeur for other people."

Jayme Burgman, the board's president, said "Our organization suffers from the same issues that every arts institution in the U.S. faces, and we plan on being fiscally sound and conservatively managed."

Burgman saw no reason why the MSO's program shouldn't continue as planned. "There is certainly no shortage of conductors out there," she said.

Tabler and Cochran will continue their roles at the head of the North Pittsburgh Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Youth Pops, respectively.

The MSO was founded in 1959 by Mihail Stolarevsky, its first music director. It began as an amateur ensemble; the 70-player orchestra is now mostly made up of professional freelance musicians.

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