- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2011

DETROIT (AP) - Musicians from five U.S. orchestras plan to wear bracelets during performances this weekend to support the striking members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a national musicians’ union said Thursday.

American Federation of Musicians spokeswoman Honore Stockley said that players are participating from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. The navy blue bracelets read “AFM Solidarity,” which refers to the national federation that is coordinating the effort.

Stockley said talks are under way to enlist other orchestras.

Jennifer Mondie, a violist and chairwoman of the orchestra committee, said members will wear the bracelets during performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. She said “it seemed like a small thing after their weeks and months of struggle.”

“We think that supporting our colleagues in the Detroit Symphony is important in order to defend the integrity and quality of symphonic arts across the country,” she said.

Detroit musicians’ spokesman Greg Bowens said it’s part of a larger effort toward courting national labor support for the strike that hits the five-month mark on Friday.

The Detroit musicians walked off the job Oct. 4. Management suspended the remainder of the season last month after musicians rejected a contract proposal.

Musicians have proposed returning to the stage and creating a binding arbitration panel to work out unresolved issues. Orchestra management spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said Thursday that lawyers representing both sides continue to talk about the offer.



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