While recent events at the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra are troubling (“Troubles at youth orchestra metastasize,” Page A1, Nov. 5), we find it unfortunate that Kay Lazar’s reporting includes no parent or pre-college student perspectives. The transformative experiences that this orchestra has provided to hundreds of students since its inception were not even mentioned.

The orchestra is tuition-free. That additional assistance is available to college students in need is a testament to the generosity of founder and conductor Benjamin Zander and his donors. New application procedures have been put in place as the organization has sought to become more transparent.


The orchestra’s administration quickly communicated the news of David St. George’s arrest and dismissal and arranged for open meetings for students, families, and orchestra staff. Professional counselors were made available during rehearsals and privately to meet with students.

We, current and former parents of Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra members, are confident in the orchestra’s administration and satisfied that the organization has handled this unfortunate situation with care and respect. We believe in Zander’s vision, in the mission of the youth orchestra, and in our children’s ability to put their training to work both in moving forward and in continuing to make beautiful music.

Deborah Boykan


Michelle Mason


This letter was cosigned by more than 70 other parents of Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra members.