A US orchestra is abused for protecting its playersNews
Message from Timothy Verville, music director of the Georgia Symphony:
For the past several weeks, the Georgia Symphony and I have been on the receiving end of baseless accusations, veiled legal threats, and borderline verbal abuse. They originate from a small, vocal minority regarding our Covid-19 policies across various aspects of our organization. These policies to protect staff, musicians, patrons, and our students have been called “highly unethical”, “authoritarian”, and more. This is while we are in the middle of a continuing pandemic, and our county is under a declared state of emergency.
We are accused of violating any number of federal laws, which we have not done. We are accused of violating a person’s constitutional rights, which we have not done. Just today, one individual accused us of imposing “dictatorial rules” “insane restrictions” and “Nazi-like rules on American Citizens,” which of course we have not done.
“Citizen scientists” and internet chatroom certified legal “experts” have been aggressive and at times hostile in tone in their communications towards us. I have even been yelled at in a phone conversation regarding our policies.
Not every objector has acted in this manner. There have been a couple of individuals who disagreed in a considerate manner. And while I believe they are wrong, I appreciate how they comported themselves.
But to those who choose to present themselves in the distasteful and untruthful manners described above, I say this: every communication you send provides another reason why organizations across the country are doing what they are doing.
I will not let you bully our staff and I will not allow any of them to suffer your fantasies of self-victimization. Performing arts organizations have a moral duty to care for those who work there and their patrons. It is the organization’s responsibility to let people come to be enriched, entertained, and educated in an environment that is as safe as possible for all.
And every unfounded accusation hurled in our direction further strengthens my resolve in this.