Dear David Ice,
If a music department does not have the funds to rent the parts, they should not hire the musicians to perform them, plain and simple. You were merely the victim of a bad decision on the part of other people.
Rutter, a contemporary composer, is not in the public domain, therefore expensive. I suspect in this downturn that we are going to see fewer contemporary works performed for this reason, with music programs scrambling for money, or fewer instrumentalists used. It’s too bad.
David, if you can firmly encourage the conductor to watch his/her budget, plan ahead, do the proper thing, rent the parts, so that the composer and his publishing house get the money they deserve, it would help composers all over, and harpists!!! Respect for composers’ rights to their music and intellectual copyright are big ones. If it’s a matter of ticket prices, they can build the rental prices into the tickets, and should do the math long ahead of the season.