Atlanta Symphony Orchestra officials decided to deny two Cobb County high school choruses the chance to once again perform with the group because members of the school choirs were not racially diverse enough. Cobb County chorus groups from Lassiter and Walton high schools were told a more diverse chorus would be invited to perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra instead this year.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) President Stanley Romanstein told WSBTV the group wants the stages to reflect the diversity of Atlanta. The ASO performs at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre and at Chastain Park in addition to shows held at the orchestra building. Although Romanstein and the powers-that-be at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra may believe denying a high school choir the opportunity to perform based not on their singing ability or past behavior but on the basis of skin color is a good idea, both black and white Cobb County community members disagree.
“It’s not necessarily fair to the students at all. They should be allowed to perform regardless,” Vashon Ramsey, African- American resident told Fox News.
“I think it’s sad. I think if they have the talent and the desire they should be given the opportunity,” Marietta resident Shar Nicholson (race not noted) stated during a WSBTV interview.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Romanstein termed the brewing controversy over the refusal to allow Lassiter High School and Walton High School choruses to perform an “interesting misunderstanding” and added he was surprised by the reaction to the racial diversity based decision, NBC 11 Live reports. The two Cobb County high schools were granted permission to bring a “smaller portion” of the choruses to perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, but declined because of the exclusion of some of the chorus members. Henry W. Grady High School, which presumably meets the racial diversity guidelines, will now have a multi-year run with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.