*Brian Fountain is the current diversity fellow; Richard Edwards was the previous one.
Using two substitutes is unusual, but due to the number of players off we need to do that this week. There are a few different types of time off. A release week is like a week of paid vacation. Each section picks release weeks before the season. The order of the choice is by random drawing and each player gets two picks. The orchestra management can revoke or change a release week with 21 days notice, but that rarely happens so a release week is a good way to plan a little vacation, take another gig, or do whatever you want without worrying about being called in to work. It is also possible to be rotated off a program, which is more or less like being on call. That happens when no player is on release and/or the program calls for fewer than 9 players. We usually get less advance notice of rotated time – sometimes none at all – so it is hard to make travel plans or schedule other things. Technically, if someone else gets sick or is unable to play it is possible the time off will vanish like a puff of smoke. I have always avoided answering the telephone during the first rehearsal or two on any week I am rotated off, just out of superstition.
It is also possible to take an unpaid leave of absence or a sabbatical. In addition, players can have tine off for various personal reasons. The only types of leave I will indicate here are release, rotation, sabbatical or unpaid leave.