I had a chamber music business for many years, providing ensembles of fine classical music for events, many at historic sites or lavish estates. My people were paid very well - and I still had some that were slow to respond! When passed over for a good gig, they would sometimes whine that I had chosen a player inferior to them. In reality, the divas seldom were well prepared, and would arrive with the music packet sometimes unopened! Diligence is critical to success! If you can make a smaller working group or if those who are reliable, go with *them*. We were too forgiving for too long, of unprofessional behavior, from players who thought that their musical skills were an excuse for thoughtlessness. Cut them loose! Paid or volunteer, the attitude towards the group and the MUSIC is what counts. Good luck with your group - we still do volunteer and pro bono concert work, and like the freedom of being in control of whom we CHOOSE to perform with.