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Fired flutist blows whistle on symphony; Lawsuit feigns falsehoods with fusion of un-flattery

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 Fired flutist blows whistle on symphony; Lawsuit feigns falsehoods with fusion of un-flattery

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Fired flutist blows whistle on symphony

Joseph P. Smith, @jpsmith_dj

(Photo: Linked-in)

 

BRIDGETON - The Bay-Atlantic Symphony 2016 calendar may include an engagement in Superior Court in Cumberland County over a discordant working relationship between conductor Jed Gaylin and a longtime member who ended up fired.

Flutist Ronna Ayscue has sued the Bridgeton-based symphony, alleging a "hostile workplace" and wrongful termination.

"Her termination was an egregious act by the orchestra," Pitman attorney Christopher M. Manganello told The Daily Journal when called about the case. "She is one of the area's most renowned flutists and has been for years. Her reputation is stellar."

Ayscue, a Clementon resident, played for Bay-Atlantic for almost three decades. She held the position of principal flutist.

The symphony fired her in early December 2014. A four-count civil lawsuit filed in court here depicts her musical nemesis as the conductor.

Bay-Atlantic Symphony Conductor Jed Gaylin. (Photo: Jedgaylin.com)

Gaylin, a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, did not respond to a request for comment.

James F. Ferguson, vice president of the symphony board of directors, on Monday said the board's policy is not to comment on pending litigation. He referred questions to the symphony's attorney in the matter, William Martin. A call to Martin's office was not returned Monday.

"On numerous occasions over the past years, up to and including the time on or about Plaintiff's termination, Jed Gaylin would demean and ridicule Plaintiff's musical  performances in both rehearsals and in live shows," states the suit. "Specifically, Jed Gaylin has stated to Plaintiff and others that Plaintiff 'plays like she is in the second grade.' "

The suit describes Gaylin as "controlling, bullying, and manipulative individual who created an atmosphere within the orchestra of hostility and fear."

The suit accuses Gaylin, who also leads other orchestras, of creating a "falsified Music Director's Log" in support of her firing.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as lawyer and legal costs. A trial by jury is requested.

The lawsuit was filed on July 8, 2015, but the symphony was not served with a notice until Jan. 19.

Ayscue was principal flutist of Haddonfield Symphony before joining the Bay-Atlantic Symphony.

She also previously was on the faculty of Rutgers University-Camden. She is a founder and past president of The Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia.

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50 N. Front St., Memphis TN  38103

901 528 1702    901 949 1144

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