The Oreo Experience congratulates Boston Symphony Orchestra harp player, Ann Hobson Pilot, for doing her part to help others keep their own Oreo Experiences alive and well.
This week, Hobson Pilot announced her retirement from the orchestra. Pilot was the first African American principal in the BSO and upon her retirement, leaves only one African American musician in the orchestra.
The real tragedy: That she didn’t so this sooner.
Hobson Pilot had her time in the Oreo sun. When second musician of color, cellist Owen Young came along, it must have looked like he was falling in line with something ethnic people might do rather than working to separate himself from the pack. The balance was thrown off and I can’t imagine the looks of disdain and scores of lowered expectations Young had to endure when it was learned that he was not the only one of his kind in the group.
I can only imagine the fear and frustration obvious Oreo Young must of have felt when after selecting a classical instrument to study, paying for thousands of hours of private lessons and foregoing events like dating, he arrives to his first day of rehearsal to see that he is too late to take the Oreo position in the orchestra.
Two other of colors came, and rightfully, left the orchestra during Hobson Pilot’s reign.
Thank you, Hobson Pilot, the BSO, and the public education system for keeping the balance of power in such an elite organization exactly the way it should be.