Musicians agree to play school fundraisers after ASO diversity issue

Updated:

ATLANTA —

The musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are side-stepping their managers in search of one thing: harmony.

They are offering to play with the choirs of Lassiter, Grady and Walton High Schools, and suggest the performances be fundraisers for the individual schools.

The ASO Players' Association released a statement saying, "These good people are our children, our students, and our future colleagues and audiences. In short, the ATL Symphony Musicians are one community with them."

The musicians also say they've watched the actions of ASO management "in dismay."

Earlier in the week, school officials from Walton and Lassiter High School were told by the symphony they would not be performing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this year, because the symphony said their groups are not racially diverse enough.

"This year, the schools were informed by symphony officials that their choruses are not diverse enough, and that the symphony would be inviting a third, more diverse chorus," said Cobb County Schools spokesman Jay Dillon.

Lassiter and Walton did have a chance to bring a smaller portion of their choruses to perform but decided not to take part.

"Because the full choruses would not be able to perform with the symphony, both Lassiter and Walton have declined to participate this year," said Dillon.

Grady High School's chorus was also invited to perform. The ASO president said they will also get a multiyear run.