Letters to the Editor

Letter: The value of music education

This past Saturday evening, I attended the 2022 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska All-State Music Festival Gala Concert.

Along with a near-capacity audience at West High School, I was delighted by the performances of two choirs, a full orchestra, and symphonic band — all made up of Alaska’s finest high school musicians.

Students from around the state auditioned to win their participation in this annual event.

Four top-notch visiting conductors from Outside worked with students over two very long days of rehearsals. The results were spectacular, and the youthful joy each group exuded made my heart happy! Thank you and congratulations to these talented music students, their hard-working teachers, the many volunteers, the Alaska State Activities Association, and generous sponsors.

However, I have been pondering one of the comments made at the performance: that the evening’s level of excellence was the culmination of the groups’ two days of intensive rehearsals. Yes and no. All of these high school students worked hard during the festival, to be sure. But, their performance was actually the culmination of years of effort that likely began in elementary school with their first general music teacher, their first choir teacher, their 5th- or 6th-grade beginning band or orchestra teacher.

As we consider how to balance school budgets, please remember that music is an essential part of a well-rounded education, deserving of our community’s full support.

— Barbara Kagerer



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