Kansas City feels the heat over rejected percussionist

Kansas City feels the heat over rejected percussionist


norman lebrecht

May 24, 2023

The refusal by Kansas City Symphony to give tenure to Josh Jones, a black principal percussionist, first reported in slippedisc.com, is now gathering heat from multiple directions.

Dallas’s former principal Douglas Howard calls the decision in an open letter (pictured) ‘highly suspect’.

Opera singer Julia Bullock, who is about to perform in KC, says: ‘I am entering into your space as a guest artist carrying unresolved tension, confusion and disappointment not only around the allegations that have yet to be adequately addressed concerning bias and systemic racism — which unfortunately remain a reality in any institution; but also regarding the seeming lack of open and direct communication between all parties. In the coming days and weeks, I hope that you will collectively find a way forward.’

The man who refused Jones tenure is outgoing music director Michael Stern.


  • Brian says:

    This is going to be the new normal. There will be no more independent thought. No more decisions based on the needs of the organization. It is all going to be based on avoiding the shrieks of the woke mob, and usually from only one group in particular. No more repertoire choices based on the merits of the work. Geniuses will no longer be exulted, but we will look back in history and discover the Beethoven was a bigot. Mozart was anti-feminist. Bach not ecumenical enough. Elgar was a colonizer. The facts will not matter, only the uneducated ravings of mediocre musical talents from protected classes. And the supreme musical talents that would not need any diversity quotas to succeed? Even they will be tarnished with the innuendo that they are merely there to fill a quota.

    • Annoyed says:

      Yawn. “Woke” this, “woke” that… It’s getting really tiring watching this record skip again and again and again from you nuts. You call that “independent thought”?! You are the ones who sound like zombies reciting glib talking points. Did you even read the letter above from Douglas Howard, someone I’d hardly ascribe to a mob, woke or otherwise. And no one is questioning the “musical talents” of this percussionist since he won his position and it wasn’t part of the stated reason for denying tenure. But by all means, continue to rant about quotas on a story you clearly haven’t read.

      • Ken says:

        Exactly right.

        Those who ascribe to the notion that Josh does not deserve the benefit of the doubt have also posted most, if not ALL of the talking points associated with the process of gaslighting African Americans about racism.

        The KCS does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. They found a way to weasel out of granting tenure to the VERY FIRST black musician they have ever had in the running for it.


        • sabrinensis says:

          No one cares if he or anyone else is the first of whatever group, only that the chosen candidate is the best – for that particular position.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        It’s more than an annoyance but a threat to the way our societies run themselves; along competence lines. Woke is actually a war on competence.

        I don’t want diversity picks making jet engines, thank you very much.

        • Blake says:

          Comment of the century!

          Honestly, I don’t want them making my food either, like they did for the meal plan at the Lincoln Center cafeteria that Juilliard forced students living in the residence hall to pay for. Sometimes I would skip meals to avoid 1. The poor quality, and 2. Their horrid attitudes.

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            Reminds me of the Woody Allen’s famous quip: “the food is terrible..and the portions are so small”!!

        • Althea T-H says:

          How do you know that our societies run themselves on competence lines? How have you evaluated that objectively? For decades, highly-qualified women have been overlooked for positions in favour of less-qualified men with better/frattish/Oxford & Cambridge Club/Etonian social connections.

          And what have jet engines to do with this discussion? Having said that, be careful what you wish for! Many a White person has caused an aircraft failure through poor maintenance or manufacturing skills. The were no diversity hires on the Titanic, were there? Just ‘competence’ – by your account.

          If I were you, I’d take a parachute with me, on my next flight.

          After all, some White person might have messed up the engine: yet, yet again…

    • Thornhill says:

      You’re just as guilt as the so-called “woke mob” posting this screed that completely ignores Douglas Howard’s letter.

      I’ll summarize it for you:

      Jones provided Howard a letter from the Orchestra management explaining that he didn’t get the job because of his “management and organization” of the percussion section, taking issue with such things as using Google Drive to disseminate information. Howard, a veteran principal percussionist, says that how Jones assigns parts conforms with industry standards and is use Google Drive is becoming the norm.

      It sure seems like there were some musicians who had an axe to grind with Jones, management sided with them, and because they couldn’t criticize his musicianship, they made their case on flimsy things like Google Drive.

      Here’s tomorrow’s headline today: Jones is going to land a job at another orchestra where no one has issue of his management skills, further revealing how BS this all is.

      • Ken says:

        Once again, the musicians in his section also auditioned for the job. If they had any kind of input, even as much as letting the tenure committee know their thoughts, they could have seen an opportunity to de-throne Josh and re-audition for the position.

    • Clem says:

      Your comment is as sickening as the 300+ and counting thumbs up it received. Your rant is totally irrelevant and unwarranted, and it only proves how Pavlovian your obsession with wokeness (and the obsession of your SD fan club) has become.

  • Enquiring Mind says:

    Poll: If he was white, there would be no outcry!

    • DanF says:

      Incorrect. If he was white, the story would be about the cancer patient who just unfairly lost his healthcare (both of these things are true), and we’d have already started a fund-raising drive to raise money for the poor fellows’ medical bills.
      Though taking 5 minutes to find other articles on this story to get additional perspective and information before commenting is seemingly too much to ask, when it’s so much easier to just knee-jerkingly blame the fall of western civilization on this case.
      There do seem to have been aspects of the tenure process that were not ‘fair’ – certainly not adequately transparent, and definitely not very wise.
      While ‘racism’ may or may not have been a factor that contributed to this unfairness, the criticisms about Mr. Jones that some people here are so eager to postulate on and embrace are not justified.
      For an organization in an industry that is so much in need of broadening its audience, it seems like Mr. Jacobs would be a valuable asset. There were absolutely no questions about his musical and performing abilities.
      He’s 31; and was likely in a leadership position of this type for the first time in his life. (And has been dealing with being a cancer patient for the past several years.) If there were any questions about his ‘managerial’ style, wouldn’t it have been wiser to try to cultivate his talents and mentor him rather than fire him?

      • Ken says:

        Moreover… the “managerial tasks” in question relate to a single piece of music in which he assigned parts per the advice of another African-American principal percussionist.

        ONE PIECE of literature in the orchestra’s repertoire over three seasons. He was held to a much higher workplace standard because he is black, and when that happens the “stated expectations” are being weaponized into a tool of exclusion, plain & simple.

      • anon says:

        > He’s 31; and was likely in a leadership position of this type for the first time in his life.

        He had the same job in Calgary and has the same job in Grant Park. As far as I know, he had not yet been granted tenure in Calgary when he left for KC (despite what some news reports have claimed). He is also still in his probationary period in Grant Park.

        > If there were any questions about his ‘managerial’ style, wouldn’t it have been wiser to try to cultivate his talents and mentor him rather than fire him?

        That’s what the probationary period is for. If he did not receive feedback that allowed him to make adjustments, he absolutely should have the tenure process extended. If he did receive this feedback and was not able to adjust, well, once again, that is why the probationary period exists.

      • Enquiring Mind says:

        “For an organization in an industry that is so much in need of broadening its audience, it seems like Mr. Jacobs would be a valuable asset.”

        Apparently race didn’t matter to Maestro Stern in his decision.

  • David says:

    Unfortunately the work of organizing a section and giving proper notice to allow hiring for covering all the parts (and having all the instruments) is a large part of the job. It seems other principal percussionists had more freedom in this regard. Also using a work location for personal use for practice and social media can become disrespectful for other members of the group when the shared space is not treated as such.

    • Fred says:

      hmmmm I disagree. Being a percussionist myself, often times it’s out of convenience that we will practice in the space allocated to us by our employing orchestra. In bigger cities (such as the one where I live), you often cannot afford a decently sized house in which to store all your gear, so practicing at the hall becomes a necessity.

      On the social media side, that becomes an annoyance to a degree. However, in this day and age where additional income is supplied by social media accreditation, it’s pretty much a requirement of the job that all professional musicians maintain a robust online presence. Massive cuts are made to salaries, and massive cuts are made to orchestral marketing teams, so we must do all the work ourselves. Josh Jones’ entire section lives on social media as well, I don’t think this is an issue for them as much as it’s a frustration for you personally because of well.. “these damn kids and their iPhones”.

  • Bea says:

    Norman, by reporting or regurgitating un-confirmed information and speculation you are doing more to harm to the profession than progress it. If one makes claims of racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia there better be irrefutable proof of said doings. Otherwise it is merely the same drivel being pumped out of disastertainment news organizations.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    If the decision was outgoing MD Stern’s, then perhaps the orchestra could allow incoming MD Pintscher to review the decision.

    • Alphonse says:

      That’s not how it works, Peter.

      • Barry Guerrero says:

        Yes, but perhaps that’s how it SHOULD work in reviewing this decision. Meantime, I’ll boycott the K.C. Symphony by not buying any of their recordings in the future. I never once suspected anything less than thoroughly professional playing from their percussion section.

        • Guest says:

          Maybe the outgoing director was taking care of a problem for the incoming director?

        • Anon says:

          Do you have a large collection of recordings by the KC Symphony? You’re funny.

        • Old Man in the Midwest says:

          Yes I love their Mahler cycle (on vinyl of course) and the Beethoven cycle as well.

          Yes, I will join you.

          I also will no longer purchase more KC Symphony recordings.

          I have way too many CDs and 8 track tapes of theirs.

  • Ken says:

    Another person adding their opinion to something they know nothing about.
    Josh is clearly a master at crafting a persona. How are we going to take Doug seriously when clearly he is only hearing the story from Josh’s perspective. The fact is if the organizational aspect of Josh’s job was so subpar, it would affect EVERYBODY in the section not just him. So I would tend to trust the people who witnessed his sloppiness on a day to day basis to make the decision that was right for them. It’s time to stop giving this man our attention. Let him win another job, and lets see how that tenure process goes.

    • Ken says:

      Actually, the person who is not informed is you.

      Josh was taken to task over the assignment of parts for a single piece of music. That is a perfect example of how in America, the bar for expectations concerning workplace behavior is placed much higher for African Americans than it is for white employees. It is used not as a tool to measure work quality, but rather as a tool for exclusion.

      • Fred says:

        I want to agree with you, Ken, but the only info we have on this particular assignment is that it was taken to task because it was based off “the work of the first African American Principal Percussionist.” We’d need to see 1) what the piece was, 2) what the division of parts was, and 3) what Josh chose to assign himself and to his colleagues.

        You’re a percussionist too, you’ll know that often times principal percussionists can make absolutely buck-wild assignment decisions. I’ve been in one section where the principal assigned himself a patchwork of all the soloistic bits from every instrument, thereby making the section constantly swap parts between movements. I’ve also been in a section where a single slapstick note was assigned to a player who couldn’t reach it on time, and upon trying to negotiate with the principal a massively heated argument arose in which the principal stated “this is how we do things here, suck it up.”

        There are details missing, and unless Mr. Jones is willing to provide specifics, we can only assume that the argument is still up in the air.

      • Plush says:

        The bar is placed much lower for African Americans in America. Get with it.

      • Ken says:

        Who are you to say it’s been one piece?

        Rumors of Josh’s disorganization have been rampant since his days in Calgary.

  • Vid says:

    How do we know that the playing wasn’t also an issue, and Josh is choosing to not share that publicly (both for his own reputation for future endeavors and gain in this battle to keep his job)? Let’s see a copy of the whole letter(s) from Stern to make sure it’s not cherry picked.

  • FrauGeirerin says:

    White male player does not get tenure: was not good enough.
    Female player does not get tenure: sexism.
    Black player does not get tenure: racism.
    Gay player does not get tenure: homophobia.

    That’s the world we live in.

    • Timmy says:

      Thank you for this clarity. Now I understand why, as I White classical musician, all doors were closed to me in Japan for many years. I simply wasn’t good enough…not even good enough to be listened to once.

      • Mick the Knife says:

        She’s talking about the US. As far as an open door policy to the world, only the US has one.

      • Wise Guy says:

        Actually, it was because you were a white guy and that’s ok because in Japan, they are fine with that. Being Chinese might not have helped, either. It’s their music scene, not yours. You have no claim on somebody else’s country. Japan is extremely homogenous because they apparently like it that way. Why would you keep banging your head on that tree?

        • Justice says:

          If Japan has a closed-door policy, then no Japanese classical musicians should come to the US and seek employment because that would be hypocritical. That smells of entitlement as well.

    • Brenda says:

      @FrauGeirerin…says a white male

  • CA says:

    I thought it was a fairly common practice within the industry that in the last, or the first, year of a Music Director’s tenure, decisions as to tenure or non-renewal of players are not typically permitted as per the stipulations in the orchestra’s collective bargaining agreement. Anyone have similar thoughts?

  • BS Police says:

    Katherine Needleman is having a field day with this for her/their own attention-grabbing gain. No concern from her/them for the other individuals in the US who won’t get tenure this year, including a woman in the KC Symphony. When will the Curtis Institute and the Baltimore Symphony cut ties with this person? Have a look over on her/their social media accounts to see how much she/they and her followers are saying about this and other issues with no actual knowledge of the situation. The Curtis and the Baltimore should be ashamed. Just a few weeks ago she/they attacked the Eastman School of Music for having a young (male) tubist as the winner of the concerto competition. The young musician was Hispanic, but a male, and she publicly shamed his success! How is this ok? This is what Curtis and the Baltimore Symphony represent now. And, worse, she has weaponized her social media followers to attack without thinking. Shame.

    • Wake Up says:

      Shea Scruggs, a black oboist trained at The Curtis didn’t get tenure in Baltimore and there was no outcry for him. Katherine never came to his defense. As much as she fights on her page for minorities, there is trail of fallen….a principal flute player she couldn’t get along with that she had to go to couples coinciding with as per conductor/MD demand, Shea was not given tenure, and looking through her public records she didn’t play a single work in college by a minority.

      Where are the supportive comments to Josh from other black members of the KCS? Crickets. Silence speaks volumes. Maybe they too, know it’s not racially motivated, but that Josh was not up to par with the job of a section leader. When you follow the history of those that make mistakes, you often see they are repeated.

  • Bill says:

    Julia bullock has no clue what she is talking about. This bs needs to stop from these awful human beings ruining the industry

    Neither does the woke lunatic in Dallas!

    Bullock should work on tuning her horrifically out of tune voice once in a while instead of calling everyone racist.

  • Concerned for the Future says:

    It seems that artistic integrity and the sanctity of CBA’s are being pushed aside by what people feel is racial bias. It’s not. It’s up to audition committees and Music Directors to make appropriate artistic decisions for the future of the business. Let’s get back to the proper ways to make these decisions,. If there is a player…white/black/blue/orange or whatever who is not up to the job, then the rules of the CBA have to be followed. It’s really that simple,

  • Ken says:

    Today, one of the living legends in the world of orchestral percussion, Douglas Howard (DSO, retired) released a letter in support of Josh. And already, an unyielding slew of less experienced professionals and also amateurs have taken to social media and to online comment threads to claim that Douglas Howard is wrong? How ignorant.

    • a says:

      This is perfect example that if you were not there working with him, don’t assume only with your empathy he is the right in this situation. You were recognizing situation from ‘retired’ percussionist who had a job for 40 years that he is probably only feel bad for Josh as an old man but nothing else. Do you think he really cares what this has impacted to other musicians and people at KC symphony? He just called all of them racists publicly. Jones was sloppy at his job in Calgary and so did in America orchestra. We’ll see if he gets tenure at Grant Park this summer.

  • CA says:

    I would like to respond to the mention of part assigments being required to be given to the personnel manager weeks in advance. This is not an uncommon requirement in orchestra cba’s. The reason for its existence is, in part, to facilitate the personnel manager’s work in hiring any extra players that may be needed (presumably following the ranked list of extra players that has been previously approved by the Principal), and scheduling them as judiciously as possible within oftentimes very strict budgetary parameters that are based upon a detailed analysis of the instrumentation/personnel needs of each piece on the program. It is not uncommon to have a program that may make use of said extra players on only one piece, and it also is not uncommon that this one piece, or any piece for that matter, that requires said extra players may not be scheduled for every rehearsal in the week as a result of it costing more financially. This is something that must be considered as part of the planning process especially for the smaller orchestras who face the biggest budgetary pressures and who have the biggest need to supplement their fulltime core with additional extra musicians since these orchestras typically employ far less than 100 fulltime musicians. This information is critical to the PM in making sure that the needed personnel are not only hired only for the work(s) that they will perform but also that they are scheduled, and therefore paid, for only the “services” (ie, rehearsals and concerts) they will be needed for. Advance notice is almost always required to these extra players many weeks in advance, in recognition of their status as “freelance” or “pay-as-you-go” players vs. fulltime contracted players who are paid by the week, not by the “service” – in short, to guarantee them a certain number of services in advance, and to provide courtesy to facilitate their schedules so that they may take on other work which rounds out their schedules as freelancers. This deadline is typically mentioned in the orchestra’s union contract, or cba. Failure to meet this deadline can result in paying extra musicians for services for which they are not needed. This is a most common practice with smaller and mid-sized orchestras although I would hazard a guess this practice that is followed even by the largest orchestras, although perhaps it is not done in Dallas. I can also state that this practice is typically used in any section (woodwinds, brass, even strings-if not all pieces on the same program will use the same string count: baroque and classical concerti often use a smaller string complement that typically would draw from the fulltime core) that may need extra musicians beyond the full-time contracted players in order to meet the demands of the repertoire, and it is an essential methodology by which the PM can budget and meet established financial targets that sometimes may be set by their superiors and typically are strict.

    Mr. Howard’s mention of the shared Google spreadsheet is indicative of pretty much an industry standard and the (thankfully) advancing technology in making detailed management and assignment of parts so much easier than it was in the old days. Mr. Howard is also correct to admonish the interference of another Principal in the running of another section: so long as whatever contractual requirements are satisfied v.v. notification, communication and assignment, I would support whatever method a given Principal may use, within reason, to run their section as they see fit. This is the biggest job of the Principal, after leading their section musically in rehearsal and performance, of course.

    It will be interesting to follow this case and see what may come forth from the orchestra in the coming weeks. There is no winner here, in my opinion, and only bad feelings now on both sides.

  • CA Dreamer says:

    Does anyone know if Mr. Jones had any assistance from the local musician’s union or the A.FM.?

    • Old Man in the Midwest says:

      The AFM is pretty much useless.

      They have screwed the Pension Plan and they know it and won’t admit it.

      A reprieve by the Biden Administration (in order to gain Dem votes) worked.

      But the plan is still failing.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    So everything’s not up-to-date in Kansas City!!

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    The risk of playing up the race-card here is that the orchestra is being pressed to reveal the negative details of Josh’s job performance, which could imperil him from getting another job. Such bullying can backfire.

  • John says:

    They’ll probably back down. If not, and even if, Stern is going to go through a hurricane aspersions and abuse. Is his decision based on race? Probably not. But will it matter to the vigilantes? No. And I think the lessons learned will be….it’s not worth it. Next time…just give the black dude tenure even if you don’t feel like he’s right for the job.

    • Stefan Wieske says:

      And therefore, people will be reluctant to hire black players moving forward. I know I would be reluctant if refusal to give them tenure would automatically make me “racist”. So I guess the solution is just not to hire black players because, as far as I’m concerned, probationary years are there for a reason. If minorities are exempt from that process, then I’ll no longer vote for minorities to get the job in the first place, which is unfortunate, but I believe all musicians should be held to the same standard, regardless of race. There’s no free pass just because you’re black or any other color. If minorities can’t handle that and put up a fight when things don’t go their way, then they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

  • John says:

    Btw, if you look at Kansas City’s upcoming season it’s filled with works by black composers and black soloists. And the assistant conductor is hispanic. To me that would suggest that Stern and the organization have good intentions and this decision is not based in bigotry. As an employer myself, when you find an employee that does a good job you’re thrilled…..and you could care less about any other ancillary things. I really think Stern deserves the benefit of the doubt but I think all his past efforts will not save him.

    • Old Man in the Midwest says:

      Stern has created a great orchestra in KC after decades of secondary status.

      He stays out of the limelight.

      No scandals, no 60 Minute press interviews, no NYT articles.

      Stays at home and creates an orchestra like Faletta has done in Buffalo.

      Perhaps it’s time for the industry to realize where the real Superstars reside.

      And it’s not on an airplane.

  • Sarah says:

    Great letter by Douglas Howard explaining why Kansas’s decision to deny Josh Jones tenure is suspicious and legitimately concerning.

  • DrumAnon says:

    At this point, given that the confidentiality of his tenure review has been compromised by Josh posting parts of his letters he should just publish the entirety of his written feedback. Otherwise, I get a sense that some information is being withheld.

  • Kurt says:

    It’s none of the business of a ‘former principal’ to comment publicly on appointments he was not involved in. Plain and simple.

    Poor show and speaks volumes about the entitled egos involved.

  • Plush says:

    So other musicians attempt to bully the orchestra into accepting the player? Let them take it to social media where their concerns will burn out after 3 days.

  • drummerman says:

    Is Stern leaving at the end of this current season? I ask because it is rather common to have language in an orchestra CBA prohibiting a music director from dismissing a player during his/her first or final year as music director. Does anyone know what is in Kansas City’s agreement?

    • CA says:

      I did a Google search. I think Stern’s last season is actually next season 2023-2024.

    • Old Man in the Midwest says:

      I’m sure Legal had that covered. And I’m sure a lawyer on the BOD reviewed the decision.

      Too much at stake here for the organization otherwise.

  • Bratsche442 says:

    For those who are complaining that Josh Jones was dismissed for non-musical reasons—that’s how it works. People win jobs based on their playing, and are denied tenure based on job performance issues relating to preparation, section chemistry, leadership, and in some instances, behavior. I can name many players who have been denied tenure in orchestras such as Pittsburgh, Chicago, Houston, Rochester…in all of the instances I’m aware of, playing ability was not in question. In the majority of these instances, the players went on to win other jobs and secured tenure elsewhere. This is a completely normal process.

  • Max Raimi says:

    The comments here are fascinating, in a dispiriting way. The facts are up for debate, but like the Supreme Court, the “rulings” in these comments neatly divide along ideological lines. It is either an example of racism or “wokism” run amok, depending on your preconceptions. I don’t know if the firing was justified. And you don’t either. The letter cited here is well informed, not at all overwrought, and ought to be taken seriously.

    • Kurt says:

      “The facts are up for debate.”
      “The letter cited here is well informed, not at all overwrought, and ought to be taken seriously.”

      As so often with those that moralise about others’ opinions, their own ‘facts’ are of course, are never up for debate.

  • Brian says:

    This orchestra is actually known to be very progressive. Their previous Principal Percussionist was fired after a sexual misconduct investigation. Seems like they aren’t afraid to do the right thing in that regard- I’ll trust their judgement on this one.

    • Ken says:

      Sexual misconduct by the previous principal percussionist vs. “assigning parts against the wishes of subordinates in the percussion section on only a single piece of music” by the current principal percussionist are not infractions that are even remotely in the same ball park.

      • Greta says:

        Why do you so adamantly think it was a single piece of music? I actually would like to hear why- we haven’t seen the whole letter, we haven’t worked with him day in and day out- and I doubt they would fire someone based off a single mistake. If so, that’s ridiculous- but I doubt an orchestra like KC COULD do that. The Union would investigate and find them in the wrong. My guess is it happened MANY times on a large scale with serious consequences and no improvement. This Douglas Howard probably only has Josh’s side of the story.

        Michael Stern is not a bigot. But I would like to know more details before passing judgement.

      • Ken says:

        I believe he was referring to the Raynor Carrol book of percussion assignments. I doubt it was on only one piece of music. This book while extremely exhaustive in its amount of repertoire, is known to have plenty of mistakes. While I doubt all of Josh’s mistakes happened due to an over reliance on the carol book, I don’t think his citation of it should indicate to you that this was a single offense.

      • sabrinensis says:

        Yet they are both failings that can render one unfit for a particular position.

        Occam’s Razor; sometimes you just don’t get the job.

  • MMcGrath says:

    The Countess at the end of “Capriccio” looks into the mirror, wondering “Gibt es einen Schluss, der nicht trivial ist?“

    The same would apply in KC.

  • PC police says:

    In 25 years of being a professional musician in.major orchestras, I have never heard of anyone investigating a denial of tenure like this. Denial happens and even to great musicians who have wonderful jobs now. There are many factors involved in a tenure process and only those involved know the details. Checks and balances are already in place and this outside intrusion is bizarre and inappropriate. Who are you to question a whole orchestra with many people determining tenure? Do you go to these lengths for every orchestra that denies a member tenure? Nope. Wonder why you are in this instance? (We already know the answer). So therefore YOU are not being fair while accusing highly regarded members of an orchestra racist. That is absurd and offensive in and of itself. I’m sorry Chris did not meet the standard that the orchestra needs to achieve tenure. Every group is different, but we also need to respect their decision. Stop seeing an issue where there is none.

  • jt says:

    Plenty of people are denied tenure, it sucks.

  • Johnson says:

    I stand with the Kansas City Symphony. There are many aspects that go into being a principal that are not related to playing music. Renting out parts, hiring subs, making sure instruments are where they need to be, being extremely organized, ect., all these things are behind the scenes aspects of the job that we have no idea whether or not they impacted the tenure process, which is extremely difficult to attain for the highest level orchestras. Now Kansas City must publicly list the reasons why he was not given tenure, otherwise they are racist?? It’s 2023 people. They have zero incentive to not give Josh the principal position unless he was undeserving at this current time in his playing career.

  • Kurt says:

    I’ve seen this happen a few times over the years where a rejected candidate cries foul play and thinks that making a noise about the decision, sometimes publicly, can swing something.
    That is usually totally counterproductive and just reinforces the majority decision that they were certainly not suitable.

    Not only that but the fall-out is felt across the profession because the music world is small and people talk. In effect those individuals are more or less ensuring that they will be viewed as a liability wherever they go.

    • Matt says:

      According to a Kansas City Star article Jones was informed he would not receive tenure in January. The social media and BON outcry has just happened in the last month. This is likely a last ditch effort to save his job after attempts with the union and legal counsel have failed. I hope the Kansas City Symphony holds firm and does not buckle under pressure.