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Affidavits and Transcript

February 5, 2013

I am posting for your consideration the papers I submitted to Justice Fisher on my application for a temporary injunction and in opposition to Ms. Stiller’s application to quash subpoenas and dismiss my suit, which were argued on February 4, 2013 before Justice Fisher.  My focus remains the Board’s poor handling not only of Maestro Remmereit’s matter but also of its own affairs, which are documented in my papers and which Justice Fisher did not reach.  I am proceeding under the Not-For-Profit Law to set aside the meeting of January 23, 2013 and will fill my papers shortly.

In the meantime, please attend the special fund-raising concert for the Rochester Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Remmereit on February 24, 2013 at 3 p.m. at Hochstein Performance Hall.  Tickets are available on line at Brown Paper Tickets.

Eileen Buholtz

Eileen Buholtz Feb. 4, 2013 affidavit
exh. A (Jules Smith Jan. 31, 2013 affidavit)
exh.B (transcript of argument Jan. 23, 2013 before Hon. Kenneth R. Fisher)
Thomas Fink affidavit re Jan. 23 “annual meeting”


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  1. ted cichanowicz permalink

    this is all very depressing. When I think of the RPO now, I feel sad rather than happy. I feel disharmony still exists among the musicians, the public, the ticket buyers and probably with some of the board members. What was for years a most ‘feel good’ thing to enjoy and treasure has been spoiled by an arrogant Board, seemingly more happy to still be in power than to actually listen to its constituents. Anyone who thinks the results of those recent polls are in any way representitive of whats been going on, hasn’t paid attention.
    Instead of looking forward to concerts I find myself looking for ways to dispose of my tickets, hoping this whole nightmare will vanish.
    Maybe I’m wrong to feel this way. But it just doesn’t feel good anymore.

    • Peter Maurer permalink

      It’s not just you, Ted.

      “My name is Peter and I’m a recovering RPO fanatic…”

      I also doubt the online polls. There’s obviously a lot of us who are in support of Remmereit, and who are disgusted by the way the orchestra is managed. Also, many of the patrons don’t necessarily go online take polls.

      I like Mr. Saunders’ idea of checking out what Eastman has. What do you think?

  2. Thank you for posting this. Very enlightening reading.

  3. I was at the January 23 meeting. In retrospect, it resembled nothing so much as a Politburo meeting, in the sense that all significant decisions were made beforehand and the meeting was really no more than window dressing. Granted, comments were allowed in a short Q & A period after the meeting was adjourned, but they had no chance of influencing outcomes and so were just part of the window dressing. I cannot believe that this is the way meetings of nonprofits are supposed to take place. Let us not despair but continue to do what can be done to set the RPO back on a reasonable course. My best wishes to Ms. Buholtz in her efforts. And keep in mind that the RPO is not the only game in town for classical music. In the Eastman School there are the chamber music concerts in the Eastman – Ranlet and Kilbourn series plus other visiting artists and student groups. These concerts are often more adventurous in their programming than the RPO.

    • Peter Maurer permalink

      Mr. Saunders, typically non-profit member meetings don’t have anyone except board and staff present, because the people who want to take an active role are usually already on the board. I say this having been a staff member of one non-profit in Oakland, CA, and currently a board member of another here in Rochester. The lack of member appearances used to be the case with the RPO…until this year. I don’t think the RPO board expected this much pushback from the community.

      Regardless, non-profits exist to serve their customers. Without customers, there is no revenue, and no grant money. Even if we are a “small group,” I’m not sure why the RPO leadership thinks that callously dismissing customers like us is a good idea. We’ve raised a great deal of noise with a lot of volunteers, letters to the press, and by taking them to court. I’m guessing they have an ostrich mentality: if they stick their head in the sand, eventually we’ll go away and things will be alright.

      You’re right: the Eastman School of Music puts on excellent programs. Maybe they’d be interested in our patronage? I’d love to see Saet Byeol Kim play again. (For those who may not remember, she performed the Amy Beach Piano Concerto in November.) I think a lot of people are torn about whether or not to go to the RPO now. They want to support the musicians, but don’t want to let management off the hook either.

  4. ted cichanowicz permalink

    I have a response to an editorial that appeared in todays D&C which in part said this: ‘how can one imagine them (the Board) NOT working for the best interests of this great asset to our community? The Board has a far better idea of what is best for the orchestra and the community than a few egocentric and disruptive people. Is the Board guilty of a bad hire? Perhaps’.

    Wow. If the Board was actually acting in everyone’s best interests, they would never have created this incredibly untimely, unsettling and unhappy situation…in the middle of a very successful season…when seats were being filled, new audience members were being created, and standing ovations abounded. Best interests indeed. The only pulse they had their fingers on was their own.
    As for a few egocentric, disruptive people…..well those would be a rather LARGE segment of the audience and supporters that this wonderful Board alienated and angered. If any in this mess could be egocentric, I would nominate Owens and Rice as at the least as guilty as they accuse Remmereit of being. The writers ask us to let the Board go about their business of ruling (I’m sorry) running the RPO after all the damage and chaos THEY created, instead of letting this season play out and handling all the rest of the ‘stuff’ once the season was over.
    They then want us to open our wallets and hearts as though nothing has happened. It just doesn’t work that way.

    A bad hire? Hmmm. Guess that would depend on how one measures success. If the audiences don’t count I suppose the Board can feel happy. They ‘got their man’ as Charles Owens apparently told Betty Strasenburgh he would do. The manner in which they achieved this ‘coup’ should more than make it clear that only half the RPO’s problem has been solved. The other half is to rid this Board and our Orchestra of this very devisive leadership. That they haven’t IN ANY WAY, taken ANY responsibility for this debacle is just plain disgusting.

    If the RPO wants a new start and they want their patrons to start to feel good about them again…fair is fair. Wipe the slate clean and give us a new start. If that doesn’t happen, there will be no ‘winners’. Lest anyone forgets, there are several musicians, and lots of paying customers in this community who clearly do not feel Charles Owens, Betsy Rice and others on the Board are indeed ‘working for the best interests of this great asset to our community’.

    The hurt runs deep. It was created, nurtured, and allowed to fester by a very devisive,dysfunctional Board. While the Maestro may have been difficult to deal with, the Board is equally if not more culpable and thats just shameful. I just couldn’t let that article go without venting…..

    (and for the record, weather permitting we will be at the concert Saturday night–not as happy as we’d like to be, but we still love our musicians–even the ones who oppose the egocentric and disruptive people!)

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