New Castle News

February 4, 2014

Music and arts must play part in education

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

In response to a recent letter published in The News from Sharyn Shaner:

In one word — bravo! Sharyn is a life-long friend, fellow Neshannock Lancer and one of my best band buddies.

Sharyn touched on an important part of our lives — the arts. How sad to learn that even small-town New Castle cannot escape this strange world we now live in.

Music and the arts must be a fundamental aspect of education.

I, too, have vivid memories of band practices, Friday night football half-times and musicals. When the scores for the musicals arrived for us, it was exhilarating.

We worked hard and had a ton of laughs. We played the music of classical repertoire: “Guys and Dolls,” “Mame,” “No No Nanette.” To not nurture these young musicians and allow them to showcase their talents, while paying professionals so that an evening performance sounds “perfect” is sinful.

Might the student orchestra play a bit off key? Yes, and that is called learning.

Sharyn and I were not perfect. But you know what? We made our parents proud. As my dad so aptly stated, “Band members of the world, unite.”

Maureen McConnell Smith

Columbus, Ohio