We have one granddaughter in the Greater Dallas Youth Symphony and another in the Austin Youth Symphony. We have heard both of these groups play and they are fantastic. It’s amazing what beautiful sounds come from these kids. Their performances are not only great, but they play classical and pop selections that I love much better than some of the more contemporary weird sounds I hear from professional symphonies. I like pieces such as; “The Light Cavalry Overture”, “William tell Overture” and “Swan Lake.” Kids love to play those pieces and I enjoy listening to them because I am reminded of the Lone Ranger and such.
Now we are in such a budget crunch that many of these programs involving the arts will be cut or severely curtailed in public schools. Nationally, cuts for public radio and other programs to promote the arts are on the chopping block.
Music keeps a lot of kids in school, and sports also retains many that would otherwise drop out. It was through band that I met my spouse in high school. In my high school class, one person became a professional oboe player, another a professional opera singer and another a high school band director. Several taught music and enriched the lives of others through teaching or performing music. Now, all these programs are threatened. Schools may scale back to the use of slates and chalk.
Anyway, as my granddaughter’s Youth Symphony played the piece Gabriel’s Oboe, my spouse and I both got tears in our eyes thinking of our classmate who played oboe professionally and is now deceased. I don’t guess they will be turning out people like that from our public schools anymore. There will also be no libraries in the schools, so kids will have little opportunity to learn the joy of reading.
I’m just going to dust off my old vinyl records and listen to some of the old simple classics. Even if I could afford the gas to drive to Austin or Dallas to listen to the professional symphonies I wouldn’t enjoy or understand what they are playing. I’m going to miss the youth symphonies if they go by the wayside.