It’s Beautiful, Man
Editor’s note: This week’s letters aged a bit in our inbox but were too interesting to keep to ourselves any longer.
To the editor: So I’ve had a few beers, but I’m gonna tell this story. I just spent the day with the best folk that our town has to offer. I was at Lola’s Saloon for the Fort Worth Musicians Co-op (HearSay, Feb. 10, 2010) benefit on Feb. 28. The purpose of it was to generate money to buy instruments for kids who can’t otherwise afford them. There was music all day, and these people played for free. It started with the beautiful Ginny Mac and her accordion. It ended with the Whiskey Folk Ramblers, and in between everybody danced and sang and there was some great music. The Dan Family threw out some rockabilly that had folks dancing early. Sally Majestic made us all nod our head and say, “Damn, that shit’s good.” The Rivercrest Yacht Club had everybody bouncing up and down and saying, “Who is that motherfucker on the bass?” (Thank you, Lee Allen.) My favorite was Stella Rose — if you like it straight up your nostrils, nobody does it better. As I stood there listening to this great music, in a room filled with wonderful people, I was reminded of why I love this town so much. We should all know how lucky we are.
A Tweak for the Maestro
To the editor: I would like to thank Kristian Lin for his article on Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Harth-Bedoya’s relationship with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (“A Week with the Maestro,” April 28, 2010), but I find some of Mr. Harth-Bedoya’s statements puzzling.
Asked about working with the significant number of orchestra members who are not happy with their jobs, he is quoted as saying, with some sarcasm, “Some orchestras may have as their mission, ‘We are happy to come together in great friendship and be happy and play as best we can.’ That’s fine, but that’s not our mission.”
Perhaps Mr. Harth-Bedoya is unaware of the fact that orchestra morale does not decline because musicians want to be happy. That is a distortion of orchestral life. Orchestra musicians do not seek their jobs to be happy and do the best they can. They are happiest when playing on the highest possible artistic level, and they expect their leadership to be demanding and effective.
Mr. Harth-Bedoya also seems to have an unsettlingly cavalier attitude toward the negotiated rules under which we make music and without whose protections no qualified professional musician would seriously consider taking an orchestral job. The orchestra is a team whose cohesion over decades is key and whose players define its sound over a period of perhaps 40 years. His words “I had to remind the orchestra of that” (i.e., his need to control his instrument) smack of condescension.
Mr. Harth-Bedoya has ability. He may yet be able to develop here musically. He correctly states that it isn’t necessary to be happy to produce great music. Should he ask, any member of this very good orchestra could tell him that making great music is what makes us happy and that we wish for leadership to help achieve this. If he accomplishes that, he may just have to live with a happy orchestra.
To the editor: I find it very interesting that Fort Worth City Council member Danny Scarth inserted himself as a kingmaker in the Fort Worth school board election on the East Side (“Upsetting the Apple Cart,” April 21, 2010). Here is a man who votes with King Mike Moncrief 150 percent of the time, yet he is advocating independence from the school district administration. Say what?
Scarth needs to concentrate on the city’s budget woes, too-numerous gas wells, and paying his property taxes. Getting involved in a school board election doesn’t make you the next mayor.