Over the past several years, the choruses from Lassiter and Walton high schools were invited to perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The ASO’s board of directors, in its infinite wisdom, decided that chorus members from these two nationally ranked high schools weren’t diverse enough to perform with the ASO any longer. Cobb school district officials have confirmed it and today’s editorial pages of the Marietta Daily Journal are all over the issue.
The ASO BOD needs to check its understanding of what diversity really means. It doesn’t mean substituting another high school (Grady) that is as predominantly black as Lassiter and Walton are white. You want to see what real diversity looks like? Then come visit my elementary school – Hayes Elementary in Kennesaw. This is what true diversity looks like across all strata – socioeconomic, ethnic, race, religion, etc. It is the real world, albeit in a pint sized version – the good, the bad and the ugly.
When I get that telemarketing call from the ASO sales department about purchasing tickets for the upcoming symphony season, I’ll think I’ll pass this year. Instead, I’ll pick up the tab for the instrument rental for a talented, deserving youngster I know whose parents can’t afford the fees.