If you’re a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra holding a picket sign that reads, “Support your PSO Musicians! We need your help!” and someone stops by and gives you words of encouragement and support, wouldn’t you be elated? Being on a strike is no fun, and the PSO musicians have done all they could to negotiate with the management for their next three contract years since February, but on September 30, the management flatly refused to talk further, forcing the 99-member orchestra to go on strike.
Not only the musicians have been picketing, they also have been performing all sorts of concerts–String ensembles, Brass ensembles, Chamber Orchestra and Full orchestra concerts–altogether 25 concerts since October 1st, to let their “voices” resound, through their instruments.
Many local music lovers have been joining the musicians to support their efforts to maintain their strength as one of the symphony orchestra the nation is proud of, and once in a while an unexpected celebrity join them.
This happened to my violinist daughter Susanne. The kind supporter happened to be Carol Burnett! Yes, the red-haired comedian Carol Burnett!
As a newcomer to the U.S. in the mid 1960’s, I used to watch Carol Burnett Show quite often and laughed and laughed, wishing I could understand EVERY word she spoke. Still, she made me laugh with her brilliant “acts.” A celebrity like her joining the musicians on a strike is rare, but when they do, they boost musicians’ spirit sky high.