Austin Symphony fires principal trombonist over racist comments

Brenda Sansig-Salas has been fired following an outburst of racist comments on social media

Brenda Sansig-Salas
Brenda Sansig-Salas

The Austin Symphony Orchestra terminated principal trombonist Brenda Sansig-Salas today following an outburst of racist comments on social media she made over the weekend.

Sansig-Salas, who had been with the orchestra since 2005, made the comments May 30 in relation to protests being seen across the nation following the death of George Floyd and protests in Austin over the death of Mike Ramos, who was killed in a police shooting in April.

“Once alerted, we were appalled by the comments as they are clearly not reflective of who we are as an organization,” Austin Symphony Executive Director Anthony Corroa said in a statement. “At this time we can state that the musician is no longer employed by the ASO for there is no place for hate within our organization.”

Austin Opera, whose orchestra is essentially the same as ASO’s, also terminated Sansig-Salas position.

Sansig-Salas posted the comments on Facebook May 30 as a comment to a now-deleted post by Orion D. Wilson, Director of Bands for the Pflugerville Independent School District. Wilson is black.

Sansig-Salas wrote: “Trump isn’t rioting. The blacks are. … the blacks are looting and destroying their environment — they deserve what they get.”