Colorado Springs Philharmonic not participating in July 4th ‘Symphony’ event due to labor battle

Arbitration dispute with musicians sidelines organization for popular city celebration
Arbitration dispute between organization & musicians sidelines Philharmonic for July 4th 'Symphony on Your Porch' celebration.
Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:58 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - An ongoing labor battle between the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and its unionized musicians means the organization will not be participating in the upcoming July 4th ‘Symphony on Your Porch’ city celebration.

For a second consecutive year, the celebration was supposed to feature a radio broadcast of Philharmonic music to accompany fireworks, happening in different locations across the city, as announced by the city’s event planners on May 25.

However, the Philharmonic and its musicians are mired in an arbitration battle after the organization cancelled the musicians’ collectively bargained agreement (CBA) in September of 2020 and the union -- represented locally by the Pikes Peak Musicians Association chapter of the American Musicians Federation (AMF) -- filed grievances asserting that the cancellation was illegal. The ongoing contract dispute has put the Philharmonic’s role in the July 4th celebration on hold. Philharmonic president/CEO Nathan Newbrough tells 11 News the decision of what music to use has been turned over to the organizers of the event. Those organizers, the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, confirms the Philharmonic is not participating.

WATCH the video (above) to see how the two sides got to this point, and why an agreement couldn’t be reached for July 4th. Below: in-depth interviews with Philharmonic president/CEO Nathan Newbrough, and Jeremy Van Hoy, Chair of the Players Committee.

Jon Wiener sits down with Colorado Springs Philharmonic President / CEO Nathan Newbrough to discuss the ongoing labor dispute with its musicians.
Jon Wiener discusses the arbitration case against the Colorado Springs Philharmonic with Players Committee chairman Jeremy Van Hoy.

(In 2020, the July 4th ‘Symphony on Your Porch’ event changed to a virtual & distanced format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original version featured a live concert and fireworks in Memorial Park.)

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