It’s been almost nine months since Laura Brownell announced her departure from the position of SSD Director for greener pastures. Today President Tom Lee announced that he has just appointed Chris Durham to the position:
As a local officer, a player conference officer, musician and SSD negotiator he brings a wealth of experience to the Federation Director’s position. He has also worked with local officers on matters affecting orchestras of all sizes and it is this experience as well as his ability to interact with large, small ,and intermediate size locals that brought him a wealth of knowledge that will serve the orchestras and their locals well.
At the time of Laura’s departure I wrote that there were “two people in the department who could plausibly be appointed Director” but that it was unlikely, in my view that “either would want to move to New York, or even spend the kind of time there likely to required by the current administration.” Chris was one of the two, and I’m glad I was wrong. He has a different set of skills and interests than did Laura, but is widely respected throughout the AFM and will do a good job.
Of course Chris’ promotion begs the question of who will replace him in the field; a question, I might add, of some interest to Local 8, as he has become our house negotiator for all our bargaining units except for the Milwaukee Symphony.
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