OGDEN, Utah, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The conductor of a university orchestra in Utah is being criticized for ordering a mentally disabled person to leave for making noise, observers said.
Michael Palumbo, director of orchestral studies at Weber State University in Ogden, said he did not realize the person disrupting Sunday's performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony was an adult, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. He said he finally ordered the noisemaker out at the beginning of the fourth movement after increasing disruption.
"The point is not whether the person was handicapped. The point is the noise. It was interfering with the audience and certainly the soloists and the performers," Palumbo said. "We don't allow children. If a child somehow comes in, the parents needs to take responsibility. If the house staff had done their job, this would not have happened."
Children under 8 are barred from Weber State orchestra concerts, although they can watch them on closed-circuit television.
John Kowalewski, a spokesman for the university, said the incident has triggered a discussion on how to accommodate people with handicaps.