Carnegie Hall Concert Goes On, After Strike Canceled Performance

A strike by stagehands forced the cancellation, but the union temporarily suspended its strike on Thursday, allowing the concert hall to open its doors for now. A union leader told Reuters he was optimistic the two sides could reach a permanent deal by Friday. The dispute hangs on whether the stagehands – mostly prop-makers, carpenters and electricians – should have a role in a new educational wing that the Carnegie Hall Corp plans to open above the hall next year. The corporation wants to hire cheaper labor at the education wing. Negotiations with the union took an unprecedented turn on Wednesday when Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees decided to go on strike for the first time in the history of Carnegie Hall. However, when James Claffey, president of Local 1, emerged from negotiations on Thursday afternoon, he announced the union had agreed to pull down the picket line for the day, citing progress in the talks. “This is a goodwill gesture towards Carnegie Hall,” said Claffey, whose local has negotiated some of the most lucrative pay in the industry. He later said further progress had been made, and that even though picketing would continue, he hoped to reach a deal by Friday. Carnegie Hall’s five full-time stagehands make an average of $400,000 per year including benefits, The New York Times reported, citing the organization’s tax returns. Claffey said there were many more stagehands represented by the union who work only sporadically. “This dispute is not about those employees,” Claffey said. “This is about everyone else. These are middle class employees.” The strike forced Carnegie Hall to cancel a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell. The concert was part of Carnegie Hall’s opening-night gala, the organization’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

Cranford H.S Choir to present ‘For My People’ concert Oct. 18

This is the 10th-year for the church’s organ concert series featuring the instrument. The opening program will be Sunday, Oct. 27. / Forrest Sellers/The Community Press Written by 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Doors open at 3 p.m. Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, 1345 Grace Ave. More HYDE PARK An annual Hyde Park attraction will offer something a little different this year. The 10th-anniversary of the organ concert series at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church will kick off with organist Jeannine Jordan 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at the church, 1345 Grace Ave. The idea this year was to expand the program beyond just a performance on the pipe organ, said Brenda Portman, the resident organist at the church.

Concert series heads into 10th year

Printed on a placard from the Poetry in Motion series was a poem by Margaret Walker titled, Lineage. It began, My grandmothers were strong. As the subway train rumbled on, I was lost in the words of Walkers heartfelt poetry. A few weeks later I again became aware of the placard with Lineage on it. This time, I scribbled down the poem on a piece of paper, and when I got home, I went to my piano and composed music for it. This was the beginning of the larger work, For My People. For My People was premiered with choral arrangements by James Ballard in April, 2011 at James Madison University. Members of the Cranford High School Concert Choir were present at the West-Coast premiere in March of 2013 at San Diego State University as part of their Southern California tour last year. The students were excited to learn that Randy Klein is a New York-based composer and that soloist Aurelia Williams grew up in Plainfield. It was a near-hometown connection and we were 3,000 miles from home, said Anthony Rafaniello, Cranford High School choral director. A connection between Rafaniello and Klein was made thanks to the recommendation of San Diego State Choral Director, Dr. Patrick Walders. Arrangements to perform the work at Cranford High School began over the summer. Were very excited to bring For My People, Randy Klein, and Aurelia Williams to Cranford and its an amazing opportunity for our students to learn from two working professionals in the field, said Rafaniello. Besides music students, some language arts classes will study Margaret Walkers poetry and writing. Klein and Williams will discuss their process in composing and interpreting the poem in a seminar during school on the 18th and then present the concert with the choir that evening.