ASYO lockout postpones youth auditions
Emails with the new s went out this week to hopeful musicians.
This was to be Rachel Anders’ season. For months, the McIntosh High School junior had practiced her flute daily so she would be ready for auditions for the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Then she got the email earlier this week: The auditions, scheduled for Sunday, were postponed.
The auditions, for which hundreds of young people had been preparing, are a casualty of the feud between musicians in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the organization’s management. The area’s premier youth orchestra may not begin its season on time, if at all.
After both sides in the adult orchestra dispute could not agree on a new contract, the orchestra’s management locked out the musicians on Sept. 6. The musicians, who also judge the youth orchestra’s auditions, were unavailable to gauge the quality of this year’s ASYO contestants. More than 400 had signed up for the auditions.
Paul Murphy, an ASO viola player and president of the [Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association], blames the orchestra’s managers for the postponed auditions.
“Along with providing great music and inspiration for all of Atlanta, we relish and take equally serious our roles as teachers, mentors, and coaches to our young musicians,” he wrote in an email, “and we are heartbroken that we are unable to work with them as a direct result of the WAC/ASO’s refusal to extend negotiations and subsequently locking us out.”