Of all of the things a chorus could be penalized for, you would never imagine that one could be banned from singing because it is too White.
But, according to WSB-TV, that is exactly the case for Cobb County’s Lassiter And Walton High School choruses.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) told both schools that, because their choruses were not diverse enough, neither could sing at its annual Christmas concert.
“This year, the schools were informed by symphony officials that their choruses are not diverse enough, and that the symphony would be inviting a third, more diverse chorus,” said Cobb County Schools spokesman Jay Dillon.
WSB-TV sat down with the ASO president and CEO to explain the decision and work with those who disagreed with it. Here’s more on this story:
“We want the stages of the Atlanta Symphony, whether here, Verizon (Wireless Amphitheatre), or Chastain Park to reflect the diversity of Atlanta,” said ASO President Stanley Romanstein.
Not everyone agrees.
“It’s not necessarily fair to the students at all,” said Vashon Ramsey, an African-American Cobb County resident. “They should be allowed to perform regardless.”
Romanstein said he was surprised by the reaction.
“It’s an interesting misunderstanding,” he said.
Romanstein told Willis that he told the chorus directors about the decision two years ago and said they were understanding at the time.
“There are at least 12 very talented high school choirs in Atlanta,” Romanstein said. “We gave Lassiter and Walton choirs an opportunity to perform for four consecutive years, and they were marvelous. We think it’s time to give other Atlanta high school choirs, who are very skilled and deserving, their chance to perform with the ASO as well.”
Lassiter and Walton were given an opportunity to bring smaller groups from their choruses to perform but both declined the offer.
Sound off NewsOne! Do you think the decision by the ASO was fair or was it reverse discrimination?