Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00
This is an open letter to the administration and the board of education of the Glen Cove School District.
Rumors abound that the school district’s music and performing arts program is being hit hard by budget cuts even with the budget being passed last month. Please find a way to cut costs in the budget without cutting teachers or services within the music/performing arts program. It makes no sense to undercut the very best system. How did the orchestra develop into their present stage of talent? How, for heaven’s sake, did Select Chorale earn NYSSMA’s highest honor, Gold with Distinction, and get invited to perform for five hours at the White House? And the band program… first place and gold medals (for as long as my two sons have been in the district’s schools), New York City parades and so on…. Just beautiful music all across our school district, and talented singers, musicians and actors to perform.
Our music teachers, from the kindergarten level through elementary instrumental lessons and middle school lessons and competitions, and up to the high school Wind Ensemble, Select Chorale, Orchestra, and theater programs, are the best thing about this district, and they give their all, every day and every school year. They also give good press.
You must find some way to keep these teachers, mentors all of them, and keep their lesson classes. Restore those positions that may be cut so we can keep the excellence continuing because without a strong foundation, buildings crumble.
A friend of mine reminds us that studies show that being involved and exposed to the arts actually improve math and analytical skills in students. So, it makes even more sense to keep all the teachers and lessons intact.
I know there are many in Glen Cove who feel this way, and may have written or called to complain. But there are many in the district who don’t know what is going on, and many who don’t even know what a treasure we have in this city. And that’s a shame. The graduating class of 2014 has so many talented performers and you can be sure you will see their names in lights in the not too distant future. But there are many more to come behind them who will be just as talented but still need to develop their gifts. Please, keep our music and performing arts intact, and restore any cut positions.
— Mary Anne Grabowski