By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
For those of us who are organ lovers, the following New York Times article was a very nice post-Christmas present (LINK).
An article earlier in the year in the San Diego Union-Tribune (LINK) noted that “[Organist Carol] Williams’ current contract pays her $555 for each of her weekly Sunday-afternoon concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, for a total of $286,000 over 10 years. She is also obligated to play three civic events a year for free. In addition to her contract with the city, Williams is paid $35,798 a year by the Spreckels Organ Society, where she is the artistic director. The society also covers her health benefits.”
According to the NYT article, the city provides $13,400 per year in addition to Williams’ salary (she’s the first woman to hold the position of Civic Organist); the $42,000 from the city represents less than 17% of the annual $250,000 budget for the weekly Sunday concerts, a Monday night summer series and (presumably maintenance and miscellaneous expenses). Members of the Spreckels Organ Society collect $30,000 and the balance comes from grants and outside donations.
BTW: If you've never heard one of the outdoor organ concerts in Balboa Park, you should put it on your to-do list when you're next in San Diego. They're really quite impressive and it's a great way to spend an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon.
(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.