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Wagner Society of New York: Gift of $5,000 to Met Orchestra Musicians Fund
The Wagner Society of New York has given $5,000 to the Met Orchestra Musicians Fund, to aid more than 150 musicians who have not been paid salaries since April 2020
The Wagner Society of New York has given $5,000 to the Met Orchestra Musicians Fund, to aid more than 150 musicians and others in need who have not been paid salaries since April 2020, after the Metropolitan Opera shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Fund also aids music librarians, associate musicians, and behind-the-scenes music staff of the Met.

 The donation is in memory of  Katherine (Kit) Gill and in tribute to her service as longtime WSNY Vice President: planning programs, working with local and international artists, and hosting WSNY receptions. Ms. Gill, a New Yorker, died in 2017. In 2013, she initiated the unique idea for WSNY to present its Anton Seidl Award to all members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.  The Award, an elaborate scroll, was accepted on behalf of this acclaimed and beloved orchestra by Concertmaster David Chan in a May 2013 ceremony, and all members received a copy.  

The Seidl Award is given to those who have made major contributions to the performance and appreciation of Wagner's work in the U.S.  Seidl, a protégé of Wagner, was a celebrated conductor at the Met, bringing most of Wagner's operas to New York and to Philadelphia, and was music director of  the New York Philharmonic from 1891 until his untimely death in 1898. Previous recipients of this occasional Award have included James Levine (the first recipient in 1997), Birgit Nilsson, Jon Vickers, James Morris, Speight Jenkins, Otto Schenk and Günther Schneider-Siemssen (director and designer respectively of the 1986-2009 Met Ring cycle  production), Plácido Domingo, Waltraud Meier, and Mignon Dunn.

Following the  March 2020 shutdown, in September 2020 the Met had to cancel its planned  2020-2021 season. It is scheduled to re-open Sept. 27, 2021. Meanwhile, the Met Musicians have independently offered many concerts and classes, including their new Spotlight series of virtual events.

The MetFund can be reached at  support@metorchestramusicians.org   Their website is www.metorchestramusicians.org  They are able to receive donations and to provide information about their concerts, their projects, and their musicians at this website.  They are on Twitter at #WeWillMetAgain. 

The WSNY website is www.wagnersocietyny.org. It is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1978 for the purpose of furthering the appreciation, understanding, and performance of Wagner's works and has continued its programs and activities virtually since March 2020. It hosts a WSNY YouTube Channel, one of the events being the above-mentioned Seidl Award to the Met Opera Orchestra.