DiD This Maestra Scam Gotham?

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Ralph
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DiD This Maestra Scam Gotham?

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:14 am

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
Conductor's sour note
BY JOE WILLIAMS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, August 18th, 2005

An acclaimed symphony conductor was booted from her day job at a Manhattan high school yesterday for allegedly making her students play second fiddle to her orchestra.

Dorrit Matson's respected career hit a sour note when city school investigators charged she had robbed taxpayers and cheated students by repeatedly calling in sick - to perform at lower Manhattan's famed Trinity Church.

"She should be required to repay the [city] for any salary to which she was not entitled," Special Schools Investigator Richard Condon wrote in a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

But Matson's doctor told investigators she had called in sick from the High School for Humanities in Chelsea because she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome - brought on by the school's administrators.

The doctor, who was not named, claimed that conducting the 46-piece New York Scandia Symphony was acceptable for the music teacher because it did not add to her stress, officials said yesterday. Condon, however, turned a deaf ear to the doctor's excuses and recommended that the Denmark-born conductor be fired from her $64,000-a-year job teaching city kids.

Matson, who founded the New York Scandia Symphony in 1988, allegedly called her school's principal last Nov. 16 and claimed she was sick and would not be able to teach for most of the week, authorities said. But two days later, she conducted a performance that was broadcast on public radio, authorities said.

In February, Matson, who has been praised as one of the finest female conductors in the nation, requested a leave of absence without pay, saying she suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome.

She then conducted performances on Feb. 17 and May 12, officials said.

Curious investigators compared her sick days with her performance schedule going back several years and found Matson had called in sick to conduct the symphony several times, officials said.

Matson, who has taught in city schools since 1988, could not be reached yesterday. But Klein's chief counsel Michael Best said: "This abuse of sick leave is completely unacceptable, and we will seek her termination."

She is the second teacher this summer to infuriate authorities for allegedly abusing sick time.

In June, investigators laid the smackdown on a Queens high school teacher Matt Striker who allegedly called in sick while he donned tights for World Wrestling Entertainment.
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herman
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Re: DiD This Maestra Scam Gotham?

Post by herman » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:39 am

Ralph wrote:In February, Matson, who has been praised as one of the finest female conductors in the nation,
I love this kind of resumee material.

Only in America there's a part-time conductor of an orchestra you've never heard of and yet someone has at some point praised her "as one of the finest female conductors in the nation" and that's what she'll be for the rest of her life.

Ralph
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Re: DiD This Maestra Scam Gotham?

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:42 am

herman wrote:
Ralph wrote:In February, Matson, who has been praised as one of the finest female conductors in the nation,
I love this kind of resumee material.

Only in America there's a part-time conductor of an orchestra you've never heard of and yet someone has at some point praised her "as one of the finest female conductors in the nation" and that's what she'll be for the rest of her life.
*****

Well, Herman, we've heard of her orchestra here in New York and her performances have been broadcast on NPR. No, she's not a Marin Alsop but she's not chopped liver either. :)
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:04 am

I won't try to second-guess this situation, but I will tell you that CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome) is no laughing matter. I lost a great musician colleague to it back in Maryland. He has lived for years now on disability and occasionally forces himself to sing at church, where the effort every time nearly kills him. There is no known effective treatment.

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I knew this would make it into the forum....

Post by Jppiano » Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:13 am

I once recorded the Scandia SO - not a bad group at all. Dorrit is quite a trip, I gotta say....

Joe P.

Ralph
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Re: I knew this would make it into the forum....

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:57 am

Jppiano wrote:I once recorded the Scandia SO - not a bad group at all. Dorrit is quite a trip, I gotta say....

Joe P.
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Psst. Can you tell us why?
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herman
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Post by herman » Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:04 pm

So if Big Dorrit is so good, why doesn't she quit her teaching job and get famous?

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Re: I knew this would make it into the forum....

Post by Lance » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:37 am

Ralph wrote:
Jppiano wrote:I once recorded the Scandia SO - not a bad group at all. Dorrit is quite a trip, I gotta say....

Joe P.
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Psst. Can you tell us why?
Yeah! Tell us ... I'm now as curious as all-get-out. And we shan't tell, either!
Lance G. Hill
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:35 am

herman wrote:So if Big Dorrit is so good, why doesn't she quit her teaching job and get famous?
*****

There are many conductors of small orchestras who are employed full-time elsewhere. Very few conducting jobs in the U.S. pay a livable wage and performances are few in number.

Even with an important ensemble like the American Symphony Orchestra, it would be impossible for Leon Botstein to realize enough income to cover even a month's living.
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