Dear Friends of Orchestral Music,

I write to you on a matter of some importance to all members of the Friends. It relates to the period that the annual membership of the Friends will in future run in order to maintain the maximum benefits that membership of the organisation includes.

Artscape Dial-a-Seat has decided to make a number of changes to booking procedures for the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. These include that booking for a forthcoming season will no longer be differentiated between old and new subscribers in that old subscribers can no longer renew their seats before single seats and new subscriptions open for general sale. The system for all categories of subscriber opening on the same day has already been implemented from the current Spring Season, with the understanding that the seats of old subscribers will be “frozen” for a period of three weeks after booking opens. The 2017 Summer Season will start much earlier than in past years and booking for that season will already open on 14 November 2016. Artscape Dial-A-Seat have indicated to us that they will require a list of all eligible FOM members by Monday, 7 November 2016 in order that the additional 10% discount per season ticket is available to FOM members. Thus, if members only start renewing in January 2017, there is no guarantee that their seats will be available since the three-week grace period will already have expired in December 2016. Dial-a-Seat requires at least a week to update their computer systems with the relevant information and cannot do so on a daily basis.

This in the past meant that FOM frequently has had to provide Dial-a-Seat with updated membership lists in order to ensure that members receive their benefits. The new requirement by Dial-a-Seat means that FOM will have to make a detailed list of eligible members available to Dial-a-Seat at an earlier date than has been the case up to now i.e. by 7 November 2016. I therefore have to ask you to ensure that FOM renewals for 2017 please be finalised by Friday 4 November 2016. This will enable FOM to provide Dial-a-Seat with the appropriate data by Monday, 7 November 2016. Much as I regret this change it is clearly a once-off, transitional matter and FOM memberships will accordingly in future run from 1 November to 31 October. I should also mention that FOM will in future provide Dial-a-Seat with membership updates only on a monthly basis. I attach a renewal form for 2017 for your convenience.

I also thought it apposite to point out that the benefits that FOM members receive for their membership of the organisation are substantial in relation to the R200 (single) and R300 (family) annual membership fee.

FOM is grateful to the CPO for the benefits that we are able to enjoy, especially since it recognises that the cost of these benefits directly affects the CPO’s bottom line.

Members will receive printed stickers to attach to their membership cards indicating that they have renewed their memberships for 2017.

Thank you for your understanding of and cooperation with this new arrangement.

Kind regards,
Chairman: Friends of Orchestral Music