Before lockout, MN Orchestra purchased dozen of URLs around "Save Our Orchestra"

A photo on the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra website showing members who've left in recent years.

The Minnesota Orchestral Association was six weeks into labor negotiations with its musicians in 2012 when it purchased at least 12 domain names with variations of the phrase "Save Our Minnesota Orchestra."

On Wednesday, Song of the Lark, a blog run by Emily Hogstad, revealed that those URLs were scooped up by the association more than four months before the musicians were locked out of Orchestral Hall.

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A search of public records by City Pages has verified that 12 of the 13 URLs listed on Hogstad's blog had been purchased by the the association through May 2014.

The records suggest that the association had been preparing for a long-term fight with the musicians almost from the beginning.

The Minnesota Orchestral Association could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

Hogstad wrote that she discovered the URL purchases while helping some local friends look up the domain name for the newly formed Save Our Symphony Minnesota. It plans to rally on behalf of the musicians and has ties to a group that's supporting the similarly troubled orchestra in Detroit.

She speculated that the association's purchasing of URLs was "meant to outwit and irritate angry patrons and donors."

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