In Utah, accusations against a youth symphony chief

In Utah, accusations against a youth symphony chief


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2018

Six men have come forward with claims of sexual misconduct against the former long-serving executive director of the Utah Valley Youth Symphony.

Detailed report here.


  • william osborne says:

    This follows on the heels of a large scandal involving allegations of sexual abuse and discrimination in the music department of Utah State University. The university hired a law firm to investigate. Here is an article about their final report:

    There was a lot of press about this in Utah, and I suspect it might have led the former students in the youth symphony to also speak out. For so long vicitms have lived in fear and have remained silent about the abuse they have suffered. The Me Too movement has caused a sort of dam break. There might be some excesses, but most of the developments have been very positive. I hope they will lead to permanent changes.

    • william osborne says:

      One other thought. One of the reasons sexual abuse has been such a problem in the classical music world is due to the complicity of those who knew what was happening and yet stood by silently.

  • Rodrigo says:

    Damn Mormons. For all their righteousness and missions and international religious presence, this is apparently what goes on with Latter Day Saints at home in their own communities.

    • william osborne says:

      I think the sexual abuse of music students is going on in many parts of the USA, and yet Utah seems to be one of the places trying to honestly deal with it. Is Mormonism, for example, worse than Catholicism’s scandals we’ve seen in recent years? It could be that Mormon religious beliefs create these sorts of problems, but it could also be that their strong convictions about morality incline them to address the sexual abuse of students while other places remain silent. Hard to say. Probably best not to jump to conclusions.

      • Rodrigo says:

        Understood. But average Catholics don’t have that same sense of righteousness, the moral superiority that most Mormons seem to embrace. Catholics aren’t systematically sending their kids out into the world on “missions” to convert people. Catholics don’t concentrate themselves in a particular part of the US geographically as Mormons do, which often leads to control of local govt. Catholics integrate into US and world society. Mormons prefer to isolate themselves, often placing their community’s laws above those of the country they live in. There are not too many polygamous sects or bizarre cults of old men marrying child brides evolving from Catholicism. Sure Catholicism may be full of perverted priests, but most Catholics are not feigning some hypocritical lifestyle which reeks of moral superiority as Mormons do. I reiterate: damn Mormons.

        • Sharon says:

          Catholicism still has a very active missionary service. Only a very small percentage of Mormons believe in polygamy and it is forbidden by the mainstream Mormon hierarchy. Momons had to isolate themselves initially because of prejudice and discrimination in 18th century society and they are no more interested in forming political blocks than many fundamentalist Christians.
          I would also like to point out that Mormons, unlike fundamentalist Christians, believe that everyone has a right to go to heaven and they see G*d as being both male and female. Mitt Romney (Mormon) is more liberal than Mike Pence (fundamentalist).

          • Robert Holmén says:

            “Mitt Romney (Mormon) is more liberal than Mike Pence (fundamentalist).”

            And Mars is warmer than Neptune but if your problem cold temperatures neither one is a solution.

          • Rodrigo says:

            Catholic missionary work is done by missionaries, not by every single member of the religion when they come of age as with the LDS. It pales in scope next to what the Mormons do.

            Yes of course polygamy is now forbidden in modern Mormonism. Old news. But it lingers in isolated communities. The bizarre cults with shocking and illegal practices – including pedaophilia – that surface periodically in rural Utah, Arizona, etc. all began as offshoots of the Mormon religion.

            There are plenty of good things to say about Mormons – the healthy lifestyle, their excellent management of money. their sense of family and community, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Marie Osmond, their tremendous achievements in teaching foreign languages.

            However, I do not find morality and sexual ethics to be a particularly strong suit among Mormons. The role of women in LDS is astoundingly unenlightened and backwards. Mormon women are locked into a Betty Crocker 1950’s role which hasn’t advanced much over the past few decades. Read the autobiographies of Mormon women who’ve “escaped”. A woman’s role in Catholicism is not ideal, but it’s leagues ahead of that of LDS women.

            Families are large, men cheat, many feeling entitled to do so given the subservient role of the wife/woman in LDS. Apparently this sense of entitlement among many LDS men carries over into their attitudes towards young sexual victims, which is what we’re seeing in the original story of this post.

            Sexual perversions can be found across the board in every religion. But I think it holds a special place, a peculiar potential in the Church of Latter Day Saints.

        • GC says:

          “There are plenty of good things to say about Mormons – the healthy lifestyle, their excellent management of money” Ha Ha – Mormons excellent management of money? Utah leads the nation in bankruptcies per capita. The real deal is Mormons marry way to young, have too many kids, 10% of their cash to Mormon church, and they get themselves into massive debt before they hit 30. – LDS good with money — NOT!!

    • Scotty says:

      If you are willing to blame Mormons as a whole for the behavior of this Mormon, it makes little sense to hold Protestants, Jews, Muslims, or especially Catholics — considering the church’s systematic coverups — as inherently morally superior. Just today I struck up a conversation with a pair of Mormon missionaries here in Cologne just because I felt like speaking American. They seemed like nothing more than a couple of nice young guys fulfilling obligations to their community. For the record, I’m Jewish, but not making much of it.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    I suspect we’re going to find this sort of thing in just about every youth activity where a few adults command great power over a large set of minors.

    There is currently a developing scandal in the drum corps sphere…