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Albany Symphony leaders, conductor Hillard privately discuss arrest, future

By   /   August 15, 2011  /   Comments

Staff reports

Some members of the Albany Symphony Orchestra Executive Committee and conductor Claire Fox Hillard met privately over the weekend to discuss the Hillard’s Friday-night loitering arrest in Camilla.

Hillard’s attorney also attended the meeting.

“Though the incident stemmed from actions unrelated to the Symphony, Mr. Hillard’s actions, as a public figure and representative of the Symphony, will be reported to the full Executive Committee at an upcoming meeting,” Symphony Executive Director Karen Allen said in a news release. “At that time, recommendations for an appropriate course of action will be discussed and presented at a future date to the Albany Symphony Board. The Albany Symphony Board would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our supportive community during this time.”

Meanwhile, the Meridian (Miss.) Symphony Association – for whom Hillard also serves as orchestra conductor — also has released a statement about Hillard’s arrest.

“The Meridian Symphony Association is aware of the issues regarding Dr. Claire Fox Hillard, and we are currently investigating the information,” the association’s president, Jeff Sellers, said in the statement. “It would be inappropriate to comment further on this personnel issue. The board will do its best to protect the interests of the community, the organization and all involved in this situation.”

Camilla police say that Hillard called them to a downtown store late Friday and when they arrived, Hillard’s clothes were cut off and he was wearing nothing but a towel. Police said that Hillard first told police he was robbed and assaulted by two black men, but that he later changed his story and said his clothes were cut because of a sexual act with a woman.

Hillard was jailed overnight. He was not charged with the crime of filing a false police report.

WHO TO CONTACT: The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Karen Allen at 430-8933 or kallen@albanysymphony.org; or the Meridian Symphony Association’s Jeff Sellers at (601) 693-2224 or meridiansymphony@att.net.

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