Musicians allege age discrimination in Berrien County symphony

Susan Dietrich-Reed and Steven Reed (AP Photo)

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Two musicians with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra have resigned after receiving disciplinary action they allege was based on their ages.

The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports 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 have been members of the orchestra for four decades. They quit in June.

The Reeds were two of six people to receive such warning letters, five of whom were age 65 and older.

Orchestra Director Sue Kellogg denied the age discrimination allegations to WSJM-FM . She says the Reeds chose to resign rather than go through with the evaluation process.

Steven Reed says he doesn’t need the procedure’s hassle. He says the conductor wants to get rid of aging musicians.

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