Green Room

Atlanta Symphony rejects two HS choruses owing to lack of ‘diversity’

posted at 2:19 pm on August 20, 2012 by

What’s wrong with this picture? If you clicked on the link, you were taken to a video of a rehearsal by a high school chorus that to the ear of this former high school choir member (second tenor) sounds just fine. It was not for lack of talent or ability to harmonize that these teen singers were rejected by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), which annually selects an area high school to perform with it. Rather, it was their skin tone—or lack thereof.

FOX News reports that “two high school choruses will reportedly not perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this year because their groups are not racially-diverse enough.” The schools, Walton and Lassiter, are both in Cobb County, ranked the twelfth most educated and one of the top 100 wealthiest counties in the U.S.

Jay Dillon, a spokesman for the county, notes that “the schools were informed … that the symphony would be inviting a third, more diverse chorus.”

Some Marietta, Ga., residents see the symphony’s decision as discriminatory—an attitude that ASO’s president, Stanley Romanstein, finds surprising. One of the orchestra’s goals, he notes, is to “reflect the diversity of Atlanta.” While some will applaud that goal as laudable, shouldn’t the overriding criterion for who get to perform with a world-class symphony be musicality?

If the primacy of the goal of diversity were extended to all entertainment venues, the National Football League (to name one) would be in serious need of a shakeup. A 2009 report on the ethnic composition found that 92% of wide receivers, 100% of running backs, and 96% of defensive backs were black. Despite comprising only 13.6% of the population, black athletes also had pluralities at every other position except placekicker, punter, and quarterback (even though at that last prized position, blacks were over-represented at 19% and their numbers have been climbing in the years since). Much as the left-leaning Tides Foundation hates to admit it, racial minorities are even making in-roads at management positions in professional football, with “diverse employees at or above the VP level increasing by 30 percent” through 2011.

The question that naturally arises is what ever happened to the notion of meritocracy—to “the idea,” as one prominent speaker recently put it, “that if you work hard, that hard work is rewarded; that you can make it here if you try, regardless of what you look like, where you come from, what your last name is”? That observation, as you may have guessed, was made by no less an expert on equality than Barack Obama. Then again, scoffers will submit that Obama was speaking about himself—or at least his black half—and others like him, not some lily white bunch of kids from an Atlanta suburb.

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If it were an all black choir, and there are many, it would be hailed. being nonblack is a crime, apparently

pat on August 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

how unfair for those students who worked hard. is it their fault the chorus isn’t diverse? yet they’re being punished.

Sachiko on August 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Uh oh. Someone has a problem with the “Other.”

Ben Hur on August 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I feel so sorry for the two hs choruses that have to cave because of pc! I wonder if there was any of a dark shade skin, at these two schools, that bothered to see if they could get on the chorus?

Oh well, this is what is happening now in the US and it will only get worse, IMO!
L

letget on August 20, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Not enough White kids, huh?

portlandon on August 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Shouldn’t the same standards apply to the symphony itself then? Let’s look at the racial makeup of the ASO.

CJ on August 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

CJ on August 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Excellent work. Thank you.

Howard Portnoy on August 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I am embarrassed for the ASO, a group with whom I have performed and recorded. Unbelievable.

princetrumpet on August 20, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Harold,
I read his twitter feed. He makes disparaging remarks about Franklin Graham, Tea Party, Sarah Palin, SC schools, blah blah blah. He is a typical effete liberal and I read somewhere he claimed that he only wanted a diversity of music – like more (or was it less?) ZZ Top! A Preposterous claim…

Buy Danish on August 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Harold,
I read his twitter feed. He makes disparaging remarks about Franklin Graham, Tea Party, Sarah Palin, SC schools, blah blah blah. He is a typical effete liberal and I read somewhere he claimed that he only wanted a diversity of music – like more (or was it less?) ZZ Top! A Preposterous claim…

No big surprise. Btw, am I Harold? What, Howard’s not bad enough?

Howard Portnoy on August 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Howard Portnoy on August 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Oof. Sorry!! I didn’t mean to make it Howard’s End…

Buy Danish on August 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Oof. Sorry!! I didn’t mean to make it Howard’s End…

Or be the recipient (dare I say it!) of Portnoy’s Complaint.

Howard Portnoy on August 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Or be the recipient (dare I say it!) of Portnoy’s Complaint
Howard Portnoy on August 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

That would be a surfeit of Carnal Knowledge.

Buy Danish on August 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Shouldn’t the same standards apply to the symphony itself then? Let’s look at the racial makeup of the ASO.

CJ on August 20, 2012 at 3:19 PM

They’re good – at least 4 Asian folks, 2 black men, a few homosexuals (Hey, I’m just going with statistics – 10%, right? It’s hard to tell when they don’t self-identify – no rainbows in their unis).
Looks like we’ve got most of the boxes checked – wait a minute! There are no black women – sexists! racists! jazzists!

mdenis39 on August 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

apply the same standard to basketball and the Mathletes ( seriously- that’s what they used to call the not very diverse group that was sent to math challenges… )…

in the early days of music recording-as in wax cylinders- the most popular release was a black man doing “the laughing song”. even this early on, the only acceptable music from black people was vaudeville and minstrel offerings even though there were plenty of african americans involved in classical music. no one would record black classical musicians-there was no market for it. that was due to racism- but it did not stop black recordings from being the most popular, most bought releases.

today you can’t get ‘diversity’ by punishing the people who are of their free will participating in programs because others want no part of those programs- they just aren’t interested. no one is keeping the rainbow tribe children from participating in classical music and choruses- it’s not a lunch counter in the 1950s. these freaks have to get over the fact that it is not the jim crow south over the entire continental united states. they cannot let it go.

what can be done is for societies and families to not raise their children in cultural ghettos- where they are only exposed to certain music, certain pursuits. stuffing children into stereotypes based on their race by post civil rights drones is what keeps children from pursuing certain interests.the children who participate shouldn’t be punished because others choose not to engage. cops with dogs and firehouse are not keeping small children from participating in band in 2012.

mittens on August 20, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Maybe if enough people become aware of this blatant racism they will cancel their annual subscriptions to the cinema. I am certain that would get their attention very quickly.

woodNfish on August 20, 2012 at 9:52 PM

What suffers?

Justice.

itsspideyman on August 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Imagine if a group of kids were told they weren’t being included in some event because they were “too black” or “too Muslim” or “too hispanic.”

Would never happen.

The only kids that it’s okay to openly discriminate against in our society are those that are “too white.”

AZCoyote on August 21, 2012 at 7:17 AM

They all look different from each other to me.

yongoro on August 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I read his twitter feed. He makes disparaging remarks about Franklin Graham, Tea Party, Sarah Palin, SC schools, blah blah blah. He is a typical effete liberal

Yeah, that was pretty much a given.

squint on August 21, 2012 at 4:21 PM

They all look different from each other to me.

yongoro on August 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM

That’s because you’re a bigot and everyone … wait.

You’re a racist, and that’s why, when people have the same skin color, they all look different to you, but when you see a group of people with different skin color … wait, that’s not right either.

You’re a bigot, though. Somehow.

I’ve got it! You’re speaking in code! You mean they all look different because they all look the same, and if they looked different one from the other, they … would …

You’re still hate women.

Axe on August 22, 2012 at 9:09 AM

“…judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”.

Sorry Reverend, we are still getting it bassackwards…

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM