JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Symphony sent a letter to parents of the youth orchestra telling them that Scott Greg, a longtime music director, would be retiring. But Greg told First Coast News on Tuesday that he was not planning on retiring.
On Wednesday, the Jacksonville Symphony President and CEO Robert Massey, apologized for the confusion their initial letter to parents created. They have sent out a new email to parents explaining that Greg's contract will not be renewed.
“He was on a one year contract and the stipulation of that contract mandated that notification of renewal or non-renewal would be made my may first,” Massey said.
The music director was notified his contract would not be renewed. Meanwhile, parents received an email informing them Greg was retiring and they were furious.
“Yes we used the word retire, in reality, we were not renewing his contract, we felt that after 22 years of great service where we wanted to honor and celebrate his accomplishments and unfortunately the word choice on our end was not appreciated,” Massey said.
Massey apologized for the confusion. “I know very much the hurt that they’re feeling, I remember when my youth orchestra switched conductors on me and it’s a very difficult time.”
Greg says despite the difficulties, he says something good has come of what’s happened.
“Thank you to everybody that wrote in and has contacted me up until this point, it’s been amazing," Greg said. "Even current JSO musicians have been incredibly generous.”
He says he still feels unsatisfied.
“They’ll hear from council very shortly and hopefully we’ll get to settle this amicably," he said.
Massey couldn’t comment on why Greg’s contract won’t be renewed, but he said the orchestra is growing and changes needed to be made.
“We have determined that we need to increase our conducting staff and because of the structural change the part time Jacksonville symphony youth orchestra position is being eliminated," Massey said.
The organization is encouraging the community to come out and support Greg’s last concert coming up May 14.
Below is the new email Massey sent to parents and students.