… and then they came for the bassoonists …

Update: More Bach news in the EW from Bob Keefer, who has uncovered a 2016 firing of a Matthew Halls ally by Director Janelle McCoy, here:

… In an Aug. 11, 2016, email to Doug Blandy, then the UO’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, McCoy wrote: “I believe I mentioned that Matthew and I had met before I canceled her contract. He now maintains that I misled him in that discussion and this is a personality difference between me and Linda.” The subject line of the email was “Warning — Matthew may be calling.”

Since the Halls firing in August, McCoy has referred most media questions to Tobin Klinger, the university’s senior spokesman. When EW asked them both for comment on the Ackerman case, Klinger replied, “We wouldn’t be able to comment on personnel matters.” …

Really Klinger? And yet you comment on personnel matters all the time. Not to mention student matters. And reporters. And Senators. You just don’t comment on them competently:

11/21/2017: The British press had a spot of fun mocking Americans’ obsession with political correctness over the Oregon Bach Festival’s decision to fire british conductor Matthew Halls for a joke about grits. Here’s the Spectator from September:

… The conversation involved Mobley complaining that a performance he had recently given in England had a certain ‘antebellum’ feel to it. Halls apparently apologised on behalf of England and added, in a humorous deep South accent: ‘Do you want some grits?’ The stupid woman heard this and later asked Mobley if he felt he had been the victim of a racist slight. The astonished singer replied, of course not, it was harmless joke between friends. I am not sure what level on the official SJW Cretin Scale you would need to be to find such a comment racist. Fairly high up, I think. Anyway, learning of his friend’s peremptory sacking, Mobley was furious, insisting that Halls had been victimised. Mobley was not invited to give his views of the matter to the university, by the way. But Oregon University [sic] still refuses to say why Halls was sacked, on one occasion suggesting that his removal may or may not have been connected to this ludicrous allegation of racism, and on a later occasion (anonymously) saying it was nothing to do with it. …

But it turns out the British are not immune from PC fever. Here’s The Telegraph:

Royal Academy of Music sacks lecturer over student guide that referred to string players as ‘pond life’ and violinists as ‘gypos’

Dr Francesca Carpos was dismissed last week from her post with the prestigious Royal Academy of Music after her note on how to earn a “good reputation” backfired spectacularly.

The note emailed to 800 students last week contained a glossary of terms that included a reference to violinists as “gypos”, a derogatory term for gypsies. It also advised students to “be discreet” and that “what’s on tour stays on tour”.

Dr Carpos, 58, a professional bassoon player, has been left shell-shocked by her sacking and, according to friends, is considering suing the Royal Academy of Music, whose patron is the Queen and whose president is the Duchess of Gloucester and vice president is Sir Elton John, a former pupil.

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8 Responses to … and then they came for the bassoonists …

  1. nope says:

    I’m sincerely curious. Is it obsession with political correctness to wonder why the only two times a woman is mentioned in the first article it is with the adjective ‘stupid’ first?

    Please wear whichever hat you choose to respond. Blogger, tenured professor, president elect of the faculty senate, etc.

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    • Amy Adams says:

      The link may say “the Spectator” but the byline belongs to Rod Liddle, on one of his bitter screeds.

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    • uomatters says:

      I’m no expert on British satire, but I don’t think you need to be obsessed with political correctness to wonder about whether or not that article is offensive. It is. What’s your point?

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  2. Kali says:

    This is far beyond mere political correctness. Carpos should have been fired for stupidity.

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  3. mindless husk says:

    Can’t we just get on with the guillotines already?

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  4. Amy Adams says:

    “The executive who sacked him acted in exactly the same way a year before with the OBF’s artist liaison manager, Linda Ackerman. The evidence, then as now, was flimsy or rigged.”

    http://slippedisc.com/2017/11/does-this-woman-get-her-kicks-from-firing-musicians/

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    • mindless husk says:

      Thanks for the link, and especially the link therein to Bob Keefer’s story today in EW.

      If this is true about Linda Ackerman, it’s very disturbing. Particularly that they would ban her from Beall Hall and the UO School of Music and Dance. Unless there is a good reason, that is outrageous. In fact, it will make me think every time I go to Beall about whether I really want to be there supporting UOSOMD.

      I always wondered about McCoy reportedly leaving her previous position in Philadelphia so soon after she started.

      The whole story gets stranger and stranger. It seems that UO must have a whole collection of whack jobs involved in this. It is too big for one person!

      I can only imagine what the OBF donors, the advisory board, Brad Foley think of the whole business.

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  5. just different says:

    The latest Keefer update seems to imply that McCoy was acting in bad faith when she referred complaints about Halls to AAEO, since she might have just been fishing for an administrative justification for terminating Halls.

    This is very serious if it’s actually what happened. It still doesn’t mean that Halls’ behavior was irreproachable, but it would mean that McCoy is a conniver who should not be in charge of anything.

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  6. Focused anger cuts says:

    Meanwhile, Rohingyan babies are being tossed alive onto fires and Trump is gearing up for war against North Korea.

    FFS, save your outrage for shit that matters people!

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