Two Southwest Michigan Symphony musicians resign, alleging age discrimination

Posted on: August 6, 2018

“Two musicians with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra have resigned after receiving disciplinary action that they allege was based on their ages,” reads an unsigned Sunday (8/5) Associated Press article. “Cellist Susan Dietrich-Reed and husband and trumpet player Steven Reed are alleging age discrimination by the orchestra after receiving musical deficiency letters … The Reeds had been members of the orchestra for four decades, but they quit in June. The Reeds were among two of six people to receive such warning letters, five of whom were age 65 and older. Orchestra Executive Director Sue Kellogg denied the age discrimination allegations…. ‘We value, respect and appreciate all of our musicians and all ages and backgrounds, and can assure you that no discrimination has taken place,’ she said.… She said the Reeds chose to resign rather than go through with an evaluation process. An unnamed orchestra member also resigned with the Reeds after receiving the letter…. Steven Reed believes the disciplinary action was punishment for he and his wife’s roles in the labor union, WSJM-FM reported. Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra is negotiating with the American Federal of Musicians on a new contract.”

Posted August 6, 2018