Mar 17, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
The cast of Jordan-Elbridge High School’s production of “Suessical the Musical” took a break from rehearsing Wednesday night to tell the board what the music programs at J-E meant to them. In turn, the board took a break 30 minutes into their meeting to see the costumed students rehearse.
“Seussical the Musical” opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in the high school auditorium.
“They were wonderful,” said board president Mary Alley. “It was the best part of the night, for sure.”
J-E senior James Hynes, dressed for his role as General Genghis Schmidt, was one of four students to talk to the board about the merits of the music programs at J-E.
With sports, “if you’re not good enough, you sit on the bench and you watch the game, or you’re a substitute,” Hynes said. “In [marching] band, that doesn’t happen. Even if you’re not the best player, you’re still out there.”
Hynes said the marching band and drumline teach students to work as a team, since every one’s part in the performance is a necessity.
“Everybody’s important in all of our music programs,” he said. “If we don’t have those, you’re taking away something that teaches people about being a part of a team that’s more than just sitting there and watching everybody else play.”
Sophomore Lexie Hynes, dressed as a “Who,” spoke of the marching band’s “unbelievable support system.”
More than just a source for musical education and growth, marching band keeps students active. Infantino said anyone would be impressed by the physical rigors of a typical marching band practice.
“I get more exercise in my three days of guard and marching band than I do in a whole week of gym classes at school,” she said. “We’re never just sitting around, we’re constantly in a state of motion.”
Students showed the board a video of their peers saying why the music programs should be protected. Parent Jonna Weaver passed out binders to each board member with letters from students, parents and alumni who told of the music program’s lasting effect on them.
Maria Hare, an elementary school music teacher who has taught in the district for 25 years, listed off students were active in the music program that continue to pursue music at the college level, and beyond.
She spoke proudly of her three kids, ages 18, 20 and 23 and their continued involvement with music. Her daughter, Rachel, is a freshman at SUNY Geneseo.
“She’s not a music major, and I’m not bragging, but this is the truth,” Hare said. “Because of her experience at Jordan-Elbridge, she is playing in the Geneseo concert band and she’s also playing in the Geneseo orchestra. She’s first and second chair.”
Alley said that while she believes there will be cuts in all areas of programming, the entire music program will not be eliminated.
“I’d like everybody to take a deep breath and realize that would not be a very sensible thing to do,” she said. “Music affects all of our lives and we know how much it means to you. Sitting here is not a fun job. It’s misery, but there are choices we have to make.”
After the meeting she said the presentations were heartfelt.
“Certainly I agree with them on all of those merits,” Alley said. “I love music too.”