Choir Officer Resigns Post In Protest
Virginia L. Mackay-Smith '78, Radcliffe Choral Society tour manager, resigned her post last month in a letter to the choral society citing "impossible working conditions" created by the uncertainty surrounding the selection of a new choral director.
In the letter, dated April 27, Mackay-Smith said as the "chances diminish daily" of the society's keeping its present director, "it would be professionally irresponsible to organize a tour for a group whose quality of music I cannot vouch for."
Priscilla A. Chapman '67, choral society director, said yesterday it would be very difficult to remain director if the tenure case of F. John Adams '66, lecturer on Music, did not receive a favorable recommendation from the search committee.
A source close to the search committee said yesterday the committee voted to recommend none of the three candidates under consideration for the tenured position of choral director and senior lecturer on music.
Chapman, Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, and Luise Vosgerchian, chairman of the Music Department and search committee member, refused to comment yesterday on the committee's recommendation.
"The reason no one is talking is because everyone has been asked not to," Mackay-Smith said yesterday, adding that the search committee swore the president and managers of the choral society to secrecy last month.
She said that she felt the committee, by failing to announce its decision by it's original deadline of May 1, dealt with the members of the choral groups in bad faith, although they were informed of the position they were putting the choral groups in.
"We're going to try and get another tour manager, but at this point, things are up in the air. It's hard to organize a tour if you don't know who will be directing the group," Chapman said yesterday.
In her letter of resignation Mackay-Smith said she is unwilling to risk the reputation of the Choral Society during the European concert tour.
"The search committee was asking us to put out so much without doing a thing themselves," Mackay-Smith said, adding the committee "has been inconsiderate of the state and future of the choral groups."
Chapman said the delay over the choral recommendation has also created additional pressure for her in deciding whether to accept other positions.
"I feel that John's performance here has been superb," Chapman said, adding that if Adams does not receive tenure "it reflects more on Harvard than John.