Symphony Concert Promotes Diversity

The Southerner

By the editorial board

For a school that prides itself on being diverse, it is about time we were recognized for it. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra invited Grady’s chorus to perform at its upcoming annual holiday concert instead of Cobb County high schools Lassiter and Walton, who sang at the concert for the last four years. Initially, ASO stated that its reason for choosing Grady was to add a diverse choir to its stage. Later, ASO President Stanley Romanstein said in a publicly released letter that its primary criterion was quality. Most likely, the symphony’s reasoning took into account both diversity and excellence, elements that encompass not only our choir, but also our entire school and our city. This is not solely a racial issue, although several critics are making it out to be. Rather, ASO’s decision highlights a more general, fundamental quality that our society should strive for: acceptance. An open environment, such as Grady, allows all people, regardless of gender, income, sexual orientation or ethnicity to be given an opportunity to succeed. And by accepting Grady, an indisputably more diversified community than Cobb County, ASO is stating publicly that diversity should be a valued quality in our society. Certainly, we sympathize with Lassiter and Walton, who believe they were “disinvited” by ASO. But understand that the symphony is simply giving a different school an opportunity to shine under the spotlight; this decision is completely in line with the symphony’s desire for acceptance. Furthermore, ASO even extended the invitation to some students from the Cobb County high schools, so there is no validity to the claim that ASO denied any group participation. ASO should be applauded for its decision, not criticized. The symphony has the right to make its decisions based on whatever factors it chooses, and when it comes to diversity, Grady is unmatched by Lassiter or Walton. ASO has given Grady an opportunity to show its audience that excellence flourishes when people of a variety of backgrounds gather together to perform in unison.

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