Evelina Chao, a spokesperson for St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians, paints a stark picture ("Chamber orchestra's reputation on the line," Oct. 27) of the potential slide toward mediocrity the ensemble faces if management has its way in contract negotiations. She also brings up the $50 million that is earmarked for expansion of the McKnight Theater in the Ordway complex to serve as the future home of the ensemble. Surely this was not a scenario envisioned by the Ordway family when the main theater opened as the new home of the SPCO. If rental fees for the main hall are out of reach except for enterprises with deep pockets, why doesn't management negotiate, for example, with St. Catherine's O'Shaughnessy Auditorium (site of many SPCO concerts before the Ordway was built). There's nothing like a little competition to level the playing field. Far better to invest $50 million in musician benefits than in bricks and mortar.
JOHN F. HICK, ST. PAUL