Equity's National Council voted to rename the Robe in April and wanted to give members the opportunity to weigh in on the new name. That decision was made following the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA) and the National Equal Employment and Opportunity (EEO) Committee that the name should be changed.
All members were given the opportunity to vote on a set of proposed new names for the Robe via a survey. The five proposed names, agreed on by the ACCA, were: 1) the Baum Bradley Robe, 2) the Chorus Robe, 3) the Legacy Robe, 4) the Robe and 5) the Rose Robe.
900 members voted in this survey, with most votes coming in the first day after the announcement that the Robe would be renamed. The survey launched April 18 and concluded June 29.
The name the Legacy Robe emerged as a frontrunner from the start, and remained so, receiving a total of 352 votes (39%). The nearest runners-up were the Robe (200 votes, 22%) and the Chorus Robe (166 votes, 19%). The remaining votes were split between the Baum Bradley Robe (111 votes, 12%) and the Rose Robe (71 votes, 8%).
During the vote, Equity heard from an Equity member of Roma heritage, who said, "I am deeply grateful for this change. The Romani people worldwide still face unimaginable discrimination and institutionalized racism and violence."
Recent weeks have served as a reminder for just how deeply entrenched the discrimination against Roma people is. Headlines from as far away as Italy1 and the United Kingdom2 have driven that point home. In Italy, the Interior Minister recently called for the deportation of Roma people.
The ceremony on opening night will go on just like it has for years. We look forward to celebrating another season's long-serving Chorus performers with recognition of their professionalism as they receive the Legacy Robe.
- Ascendant 'Italians first' Politician Vows Mass Deportations and Challenges EU. NPR, June 29, 2018
- Roma Communities fear deportation in post-Brexit Britain. The Guardian. July 2, 2018