Durham to be SSD Director

It’s been almost nine months since Laura Brownell announced her departure from the position of SSD Director for greener pastures. Today President Tom Lee announced that he has just appointed Chris Durham to the position:

Over the weekend I appointed Chris Durham to the position of Director of Symphonic Services. Chris has worked for the Federation for almost 20 years. Prior to that time, Chris performed with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and held the position of Vice President of Local 103, Columbus, Ohio and served as Chair of the Orchestra Committee. After working for the Federation for a period of time, he served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Local 2-197 after which he rejoined the Federation team as a SSD negotiator. He also helped the Federation as a trustee during a reorganizing process in Local 11-637, Louisville, Kentucky. Chris also served as a member at large on the first ROPA Executive Board and has been a member of the Federation for 32 years.

As a local officer, a player conference officer, musician and SSD negotiator he brings a wealth of experience to the Federation Director’s position. He has also worked with local officers on matters affecting orchestras of all sizes and it is this experience as well as his ability to interact with large, small ,and intermediate size locals that brought him a wealth of knowledge that will serve the orchestras and their locals well.

At the time of Laura’s departure I wrote that  there were “two people in the department who could plausibly be appointed Director” but that it was unlikely, in my view that “either would want to move to New York, or even spend the kind of time there likely to required by the current administration.” Chris was one of the two, and I’m glad I was wrong. He has a different set of skills and interests than did Laura, but is widely respected throughout the AFM and will do a good job.

Of course Chris’ promotion begs the question of who will replace him in the field; a question, I might add, of some interest to Local 8, as he has become our house negotiator for all our bargaining units except for the Milwaukee Symphony.


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