I recently returned from a trip to Toledo, OH, which is where I grew up. Last Saturday night there was a ceremony to induct people into my high school’s Music Hall of Fame. Yes, we have a Music Hall of Fame.
Back in the day, we had an absolutely awesome marching band and the glee club did top notch musicals along with the orchestra. Being a Catholic school, the uniforms, the instruments and all the accoutrement were supplied through fund raisers managed by the band parents. At least once a year we put on our uniforms without picking up instruments and sold band candy outside local stores, factories, or whatever. The uniforms had an overlay for marching, but could also be worn with white shirt and necktie as a concert band uniform. Large instruments, such as bassoons and sousaphones, were courtesy of the band parents’ efforts.
The music department was so good that when the school got a new principal, he decided that he was going to “put the music department in its place.”
If that place was oblivion, he succeeded 45 years ago.
The banquet hall was packed; I’m guessing there were 500 or so from all over the US. The current school president told the assembled multitude that he was committed to “getting our music department back.”
I hope so. Music is not only an art, but also a powerful tool for brain development.
I’m going to check back and see if it really happens.