Orchestra fundraiser draws protest

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Unchained protest
Save Our Symphony Secretary Nils Halker, center, unlocks a symbolic chain at a protest outside a fundraiser at Orchestra Hall. SOSMn called on Minnesota Orchestra management to end the ongoing musicians lockout.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

Around 100 people protested outside a fundraiser in Minneapolis tonight calling for an end to the Minnesota Orchestra lockout.

Members of Save Our Symphony Minnesota chanted as they symbolically unchained a group of a young musicians.

The protest unfolded in the shadow of the newly renovated Orchestra Hall where donors gathered for a fundraising event.

Save Our Symphony Minnesota secretary Nils Halker called on orchestra leadership to focus on ending the dispute.

"A lockout is no time for a party!" he said to the applauding crowd.

Orchestra management said the $200,000 raised at the event will go to musicians' salaries and educational initiatives, after there is a settlement.

In a statement Orchestra President Michael Henson said, "We hope that Orchestra musicians and the volunteer groups expressing support for musicians will join our fundraising efforts rather than protest them."