Dear Editor,

During this stressful time of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Geneseo Central school board is in the unfortunate position of needing to reduce expenses and sacrifice valuable programs. Included on the chopping block is the school orchestra (“District Eyes Cuts to Orchestra Program” Livingston County News, April 9), though according to the board president, Jenn Mehlenbacher, there is still a possibility that the orchestra can be saved.

Can you imagine a life without music, especially during a time like the present?

Music calms our souls, energizes our activities, and entertains us as we work and play. Think of an old silent movie without the organist pounding away in the loft. Picture a modern movie without an orchestra speeding on the chase or mopping up the tears of a broken hearted lover or enhancing our fear during a scary scene. Envision no more summer music in the park or the Rochester Philarmonic Orchestra at the Geneseo summer festival or lively rock concerts – ever, not just during the pandemic.

Orchestra music is an indispensable part of our lives, which is a result of good music education programs.

How can a school claim to provide a complete education of the whole person without a full music and arts program?

Learning to read music, play an instrument, and then join in a team effort such as an orchestra requires focus, concentration, and precision. Think of how these skills translate into the workforce. A student need not become a professional musician to have benefitted from participating in a school orchestra program.

Geneseo school administrators and board members need to fight for our students, not against them.

Please find a way to include the orchestra in the budget. The arts are not extra curricular. They belong deeply imbedded in the school curriculum and included in the budget. Forty minutes after school is not long enough for a productive rehearsal and not fair to the students who have other after-school commitments.

Think of the value we stand to lose if the orchestra program is eliminated or even reduced.

These are the times we need our school leaders to make wise choices. Take the plunge, be creative, listen to the music. FIND A WAY!

Charlotte Brummett is a former cello player and school orchestra member.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1