The London Church Got Rid Of Two Hundred Musicians
Ten musical ensembles have been charged with "violent and unchristian behavior" at St Martin's in the fields in London, claiming that the Church got rid of them under the guise of a pandemic, The Guardian reported on September 20.
Orchestras and choirs have given regular concerts at St Martin's Church in Trafalgar square for 30 years, paying rent for the venue and a Commission for ticket sales. But over the summer, the Church announced a "new vision" for concerts, going on to hire its professional musicians and earn more revenue by getting rid of "third-party organizers."
Ensembles claim that no consultations were held on this issue. The move, they said, "will cause serious difficulties for hundreds of our musicians in the many orchestras and choirs that have faithfully served and supported St. Martin's Church for three decades, creating a series of concerts out of almost nothing, the commercially and artistically successful concert series that we see today."
Peter Dyson of London's Belmont ensemble, their concerts brought the Church and its work with the homeless millions of pounds. These ten ensembles provide jobs for about 200 freelance musicians, who are "now being rejected and thrown away," he said. The Church charges ensembles £2,350 to rent a venue for Saturday's concert, plus a 15% commission on ticket sales.
"Our goal is to create an open venue that will host a wide range of musicians and artists, both beginners and established, allowing many more people to perform in our famous Church," St Martin's music Director Andrew Eris responded to these accusations, adding that the Church is changing its concept because it is in a difficult financial situation and that musicians who have worked with the Church before can apply again.