Epps Wants Limit On HRO Outsiders

Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, said yesterday the University will insist that the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO) admit no more than 10 per cent outside musicians next year because, "It is unfair to undergraduates to have places taken by people outside the University."

Epps said he will ask next spring's Committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life to reinstitute a rule, taken off the books in 1971, that would prohibit non-undergraduates from participating in any Harvard performance without the approval of Epps or a "designated faculty representative."

Angry Response

HRO's conductor, James D. Yannatos, reacted angrily to the proposal last night, at first saying, "I think I'd quit and look for a new job." Yannatos subsequently retracted his statement, but continued to maintain that Epps's proposal would represent "an intolerable intrusion on my academic freedom."


Yannatos said that Epps had arranged a meeting with him more than two weeks ago, the morning after an article appeared in The Crimson alleging that close to 20 per cent of the players and alternates admitted to the 1976-77 orchestra were from outside the University.

Since that time, according to Thomas Terwilliger '78, student president of the orchestra, shifts in membership have brought the figure closer to 15 per cent.

Terwilliger also said that after Epps met with Yannatos, a group of HRO players met to devise a new audition system. Next year, he said, HRO will hold a Harvard-only audition first and then will advertise at other schools only for those places that remain unfilled.

Epps's announcement will not affect the composition of this year's orchestra.

The new rule, if passed by CHUL next spring, would apply to performances at the Loeb, by the Bach Society Orchestra and by House dramatic societies as well as by HRO.

Epps said that for HRO he would probably set up a committee to rule on each proposed exception to the undergraduate-only regulation, with himself, Yannatos and Myra Mayman, coordinator of the arts at Harvard and Radcliffe, as members.

The committee would set 10 per cent as an absolute maximum, Epps said, adding, "Clearly I would like the figure to be lower than that. One hundred per cent Harvard will be the goal."

They're playing number games," Yannatos said. "You can't play statistics and expect quality."

Yannatos said he would consider the committee an "encroachment, just as any faculty member would." His assistant, Michael W. Harris, called the proposal "a blatant interference by the administration" and "a dangerous precedent."

Epps disputed Yannatos's charge, saying "This is not analogous to a classroom situation. We are admitting and recruiting talented musicians and actors and they deserve first crack at activities."

Epps said that he would also ask the Harvard orchestras to stop advertising for musicians at other schools, which he said "misled" non-Harvard players. The Crimson reported in its article that New England Conservatory and Boston University music students had come to Harvard expecting "open" auditions but had not been given an equal chance.

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