She Finally Got an Audition With the Boys Choir. Now She's Suing

9-year-old says she was rejected because of her gender from Berlin's State and Cathedral Choir
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2019 9:35 AM CDT
Girl Spurned by Famous Boys Choir Files Suit
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/markrhiggins)

For more than 550 years, the State and Cathedral Choir of Berlin has performed all over Germany and the world. But while the choral group has renown, there's one thing it doesn't have, and never has: a female voice. The AP reports a 9-year-old girl hopes to change that with a new lawsuit contending she auditioned for the boys choir in early 2019 and was rejected only because of gender. A Berlin administrative court is set to rule Friday on the complaint, which says the rebuffing of the un-IDed girl after her tryout was discriminatory because "it infringed on her right to equal opportunities in state support," per the Guardian. The child's mother says the partnering girls choir her daughter could have tried to join doesn't provide the same quality of vocal training as the boys choir.

Susann Braecklein, the girl's attorney, says her client had put in a choir application in both 2016 and 2018 but wasn't granted an audition, per the AP. Still, she was invited to audition earlier this year, at which point she was rejected. The choir, for its part, insists its rejection of the girl was "not predominantly" about her gender, and that if "her voice had matched the desired sound characteristics of a boys choir" and she'd been extraordinarily talented and motivated, she would've been issued an invite to join. The choir has its supporters for limiting the group to boys, with some arguing boys' and girls' voices are indeed different, and that having a girl in the group would dilute the sound the choir has become known for. "Anyone who wants to enforce a misunderstood gender equality here sacrifices a cultural asset," one German society columnist writes. (More discrimination stories.)

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