August 19, 2012
We would like to extend our deepest apologies to the students, parents, and community of the Lassiter and Walton High School choirs for this recent misunderstanding. Our decision to invite the Grady High School choir to perform in our holiday pops concert was not intended as a message of exclusion to the East Cobb singers, but rather one of inclusion to talented student choir groups throughout the metro area we serve.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has a long and proud tradition of inviting talented amateur singers to perform with us — audiences have heard groups such as the Young Singers of Callanwolde,The Atlanta Boy Choir, Morehouse and Spelman College Glee Clubs, and Gwinnett Young Singers perform with our musicians. We have enjoyed our collaboration with the Walton and Lassiter choirs for four years, and we hope to do it again. Quality is, and always has been, our primary criterion, and we agree these students represent that excellent standard. We are simply trying to share the experience with other talented choirs across the metro area.
We did not “ban” or “disinvite” the Lassiter and Walton choirs from our holiday pops concert. In fact, we invited members of those choirs to join Grady, but our stage cannot accommodate all three complete choirs at once. Lassiter and Walton decided that if all students could not sing, they would not participate.
The musicians of the Atlanta Symphony have independently reached out to Lassiter, Walton, and Grady high schools and offered to perform with their choirs. We applaud this gesture and hope the great music they perform together will help soothe this situation.
We are proud of the array of music we offer — from classical and pops, to country and rock; of the various stages on which we perform — Symphony Hall, Chastain Park Amphitheater, and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; and of the range of talented artists, from local to international, that we bring to the many audiences who share our musical experiences with us.
We apologize to you all for this misunderstanding. We are your Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and we thank you for your ongoing support.
Stanley E. Romanstein,
Ph.D. President, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra