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BSO should hire based on skill, not skin color | READER COMMENTARY

Jonathon Rush was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Jonathon Rush was recently appointed Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

In my opinion, musicians should be selected for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra based on their ability to play extremely well as opposed to color or other qualifications (“Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s roster of 75 includes just one Black musician. Critics say BSO must do better,” Dec. 17). I would therefore think the best way to choose musicians would be a “blind” audition where the musicians play behind a screen and the judges don’t know the race or gender of the musician only their ability to perform.

If the cost of attending auditions prevents talented musicians from attending them, then the BSO should offer grants for talented musicians of any color or race to help cover the cost of attending the auditions.

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I don’t think anyone can convince me that there are not extremely talented musicians of color who are talented enough to play in the BSO. If it should be proven that musicians were not chosen due to their color or race then heads should roll at the BSO. On the other hand, race should not be a factor for accepting a candidate for the orchestra. Only musical ability should determine who is chosen. Again, my answer is blind auditions!

Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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