Orchestra Member Barred For Not Being Vaccinated 

Clarinetist Martha Dippold of North Carolina’s Wilmington Symphony Orchestra was told she cannot play unless she receives a COVID vaccination 

(Photo credit: Port City Daily / Courtesy WSO)


Increasing cases of the Delta variant in North Carolina prompted Wilmington Symphony Orchestra’s (WSO) Executive Director Liz Scanlon to mandate that its musicians get vaccinated in order to play with the symphony.

Martha Dippold’s stance on not getting a vaccine was due to her having “almost died” from COVID-19 last December and now believes the experience affords her “robust” immunity to the virus.

Dippold was looking forward to performing with the ensemble for their 50th anniversary season until she was advised otherwise. “It was very disappointing,” Dippold said. “I love playing with an orchestra.”

“The WSO is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive experience for all, including musicians, staff, and concert-goers,” said Scanlon in a written statement. 

“In furtherance of such commitment and after careful consideration, we have implemented a mandatory vaccination policy for all musicians or performers.

“Any requests for exemptions to such policy, be it for medical or religious reasons, have been and will continue to be carefully reviewed and evaluated, weighing our desire for safety, the nature of the particular request, and the scientific evidence or facts pertinent to such requests," Scanlon continued.

The WSO’s next scheduled concert will be in October with rehearsals beginning this month. For more information, click here.